Baker Reacts Cautiously to Plan for Reunification of German States

Secretary of State James Baker said Wednesday that any reunification of Germany would require “Germany’s continued alignment with NATO and an increasingly integrated European community.”

“There should be no trade of neutralism for unity, and there should be no dilution of the Federal Republic of Germany’s liberal democratic character,” the secretary of state said.

His comments came during a briefing at the White House on President Bush’s upcoming summit with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

The question of German reunification is expected to be discussed at the summit, as well as the democratic movement sweeping East Germany and most other Soviet bloc countries in the wake of Gorbachev’s reforms in the Soviet Union.

Chancellor Helmut Kohl presented West Germany’s parliament on Tuesday with a proposal for a confederation of the two Germanys, leading to eventual reunification.

Gorbachev already has stated his opposition to reunification and the need for East Germany to remain in the Warsaw pact.

Baker also stressed a go-slow approach. “I would prefer moves toward unification be peaceful, gradual and part of a step-by-step process,” he said.

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