East and West Germany signed the first treaty between them valid in international law on Friday (May 12) -- also representing the first legal recognition of the communist East German state by West Germany.
SV Kohl and Bahr enter room and sit at table.
SV Officials watch.
CV Bahr signs ZOOM BACK TO Kohl signing and both men exchange documents.
SV Both men stand, shake hands and leave.
WEST GERMAN STATE SECRETARY BAHR AND EAST GERMAN STATE SECRETARY KOHL ENTER ROOM AND SIT AT TABLE: SIGN TREATY AND EXCHANGE DOCUMENTS: LEAVE ROOM.
Initials VS/2.48 VS/3.22
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Background: East and West Germany signed the first treaty between them valid in international law on Friday (May 12) -- also representing the first legal recognition of the communist East German state by West Germany. The treaty opens up the hitherto tightly-sealed border dividing Germany, and cover transport by road, rail, canal and sea. West German citizens will be allowed freer access to East Germany, and tourist travel between the two states will be easier. An air travel agreement is planned for the future.
Friday's treaty will come into effect after the other major treaties between West Germany and Poland and the Soviet Union have been ratified by West Germany. The suspended ratification debate on these treaties, meanwhile, is due to be resumed in the West German parliament on Wednesday (May 17).
Friday's treaty, signed in Bonn, the West German capital, still has to be formally signed and ratified.
SYNOPSIS: In the West German coital of Bonn on Friday, twenty-four years of tension between East and West Germany were eased. For West Germany's State Secretary, Aegean Bahr, and his East German counterpart, Doctor Michael Kohl, signed the first internationally legal treaty between the two states. The treaty, which open up the hitherto tightly-closed border dividing Germany, also represents the first legal recognition of the communist East German state by West Germany. It covers communication by canal, sea and road.
When it comes into effect, West Germans will have freer access to East Germany, and tourism between them will be easier. The treaty, which still has to be ratified, comes into effect when two other major treaties are ratified in the West German parliament. These are the controversial non-aggression treaties between West Germany, and Poland and the Soviet Union, which caused the recent crisis of Government in Bonn. Parliament's debate on them is top be resumed on Wednesday.