Mar 24, 1987
EEC-COMECON TALKS TO CONTINUE.GENEVA MARCH 20 (IFDA) -- Experts from the European Economic Community and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) are to hold another round of talks at a future date in their efforts to establish EEC-CMEA relations and their future development. A joint communique, after three days of expert-level discussions between the two, gave no details, but said that some progress had been made in clarifying positions and bringing them closer, and that another meeting would be necessary for completion of the work. This is the second round of talks between the two. The first round of meetings was held in September. The EEC delegation was led by John Maslen, head of the division at the EEC Commission, and the CMEA delegation by Zdizslaw Kurowski, Deputy Secretary of the CMEA. The CMEA countries have put forward a draft joint declaration for cooperation between the two, and this is designed to establish official relations between the two groupings and provide a framework for future development of relations. A CMEA suggested draft is described as being couched in general terms for furthering of economic and other cooperation between the two organisations. Two unresolved problems would appear to relate to the question of status of Berlin, and the question of the community entering into direct cooperation agreements with the member countries of the CMEA, and the pace of such agreements -whether it should be preceded by the one with the CMEA, whether the CMEA should or could negotiate on behalf of its constituent members, or what? The question of status of Berlin is a long-standing East-West problem, and involves whether "West Berlin" is a part of the Federal Republic of Germany, as it is administratively and politically allowed to be treated by the three western "occupying powers"? In effect the EEC side, and West Germany, is seeking language that would imply recognition by the CMEA countries of this status of West Berlin, which the CMEA countries do not accept. The joint communique said that in the talks each side had put forward "drafting suggestions" for several provisions of the cooperation text, and some progress had been made towards "clarifying positions and bringing them closer together".