The Three Conferences in Europe—Talking out the Cold War
No reader of newspapers, however cursory, can fail to have seen some references to ‘Helsinki’, ‘Vienna’ and ‘Geneva’, the names of three cities which have become a shorthand term for three international conferences which have been in progress throughout 1973 and 1974. They are: the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, originally in Helsinki; the Conference on Mutual Force Reductions (M.F.R.) in Vienna, and S A L T II, the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, which has found its home in Geneva. These three conferences mark a new chapter in East—West relations. The confrontation between the rival social systems, with its frontier running between the two Germanies, has been the constant factor in international relations since the end of the war. The contestants now wish to make themselves more comfortable by achieving security at a lower level of forces, by making the nuclear arms race safer and less costly, and by arriving at agreement on such issues as trade and technology, the free movement of people and ideas and the inviolability of frontiers.
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