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Doc Type: 
Telephone Call
Full Title: 
Helmut Kohl conversation with George Bush
Language Type: 

The West German chancellor rings President Bush to make three points before Gorbachev arrives in Washington for the summit. First was the joint Kohl-Bush position on the “future membership of a united Germany in NATO without any limitations.” Second was Kohl’s intention to “find an sensible economic arrangement” with Gorbachev because he “needs help very much” – meaning major West German financial aid and credits. Third, “it is of immense importance that we make further progress in disarmament.”  Interestingly, in the Bush-Scowcroft version of this conversation that would be published in their joint memoir, A World Transformed, Kohl’s third point about disarmament is left out altogether (p. 278). And the memcon is circumspect on Bush’s side about Gorbachev’s need for financial aid, with Bush saying only that he “remember[s] your private conversation with me.  Subsequently, that has been raised, with Jim Baker. We have problems with that, related to Lithuania.” The U.S. was also running its own budget deficit, and Bush had no intention of providing major financial support to Gorbachev – that would be up to Kohl.