Washington (Jul. 30)
The State Department stressed yesterday that the United States and its West European allies were united at the 35-member Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Madrid in maintaining that human rights was as important a part of the Helsinki accords as security issues.
This cooperation between the Western Allies was seen in Washington as reason to consider the meetings in Madrid a ‘success,’ even though the conference adjourned Tuesday with the West and the Soviet bloc deadlocked. The CSCE will reconvene for about eight weeks starting in October.
A statement issued at a State Department briefing yesterday pointed out that “the inflexible position taken by the Soviet Union on both security issues and human rights has made a constructive outcome impossible and precipitated the recess.”
The statement noted that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries had sought to bridge the differences with the Soviet Union over the past two weeks by presenting a “package” that included “movement forward in the human rights area,” along with a French proposal for a conference on disarmament in Europe.
“The Soviet Union, however, rejected both the human rights and security components of this initiative out of hand and tabled a counter-proposal which reflected no forward movement whatsoever and was recognized quickly by the Western nations as being so extreme as to close off any serious negotiations,” the State Department said.
U.S. CASTIGATES THE SOVIET UNION
Max Kampelman, the chief American delegate, in his final speech at Madrid Tuesday castigating the Soviets for refusing to deal with the Western proposal, said the U.S. delegation has not used the word “detente” at the conference because it “will not permit its use as an attempt to camouflage” Soviet policy of force and occupation against Afghanistan and continued military buildup.”
“Within the Soviet Union, the repression of human rights continues with cruel relentlessness,” Kampelman charged. He said that while efforts have been made in Madrid to reduce the barriers to reunification of families, the emigration figures for Armenians, ethnic Germans and Jews who want to leave the USSR have dropped.
“The number of Jews allowed to emigrate is dropping at even greater rates” than the other two groups, Kampelman said. “In the first six months of 1979, 24,794 Jews left the Soviet Union; In the first six
months this year only 6,668 left — a decline of 79 percent in only two years.”
CONDITIONS WORSENING FOR SOVIET JEWS
Kampelman added that “conditions have continued to deteriorate” for those Jews who remain in the USSR. “We and other delegations have already noted with deep regret and condemnation the sentencing June 18 of Viktor Brailovsky. My files are filled with names and letters reflecting individual human tragedy inflicted by an insensitive bureaucracy,” Kampelman said.
He stressed that when the U.S. returns to the CSCE in October it will continue to be determined to fulfill its responsibilities under the Helsinki accords. “We need a demonstration that the Soviet Union intends to abide by the provisions of the Final Act,” he said.
The Helsinki agreement was signed in 1975 by all the European countries and the U.S. and Canada. The Soviet Union was forced to agree to human rights provisions as a price to Western agreement on secure borders and the post-World War II status quo.
Follow-up meetings were held in Belgrade in 1977 and in Madrid starting last fall to ensure that the provisions of Helsinki were being carried out and to move cooperation ahead. The meeting in October is expected to be the last for the CSCE unless a disarmament conference is agreed upon.