Foreign Ministers from the seven Warsaw Pact countries in the Eastern Bloc started a two-day conference in the Polish capital on Sunday (19 October).
GV TILT DOWN Polish flag flying over conference hall in Warsaw, Poland.
CU Flags of Warsaw pact countries flying outside the hall.
CU PAN INTERIOR Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko leads delegates into conference hall.
CU PULL BACK Polish delegation.
CU PULL BACK Bulgarian delegation.
CU PULL BACK Hungarian delegates.
CU PULL BACK East German delegates.
CU PULL BACK Rumanian delegates.
CU PULL BACK Soviet delegation.
CU PULL BACK Czechoslovakian delegation.
GV PAN All the delegates seated around table.
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Background: Foreign Ministers from the seven Warsaw Pact countries in the Eastern Bloc started a two-day conference in the Polish capital on Sunday (19 October). The private talks are likely to range from East-West relations to the Gulf war. They also allowed the ministers to acquaint themselves with the political situation in troubled Poland.
SYNOPSIS: The venue for the meeting had been decided before Poland faced the industrial unrest in August. The massive strikes resulted in a change of leadership and the creation of the communist bloc's first independent trade union. The talks led by Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, are part of a regular series of consultations. The near-deadlocked preparations for the Madrid conference on the European Helsinki Agreements were expected to be high on the agenda. Other likely topics for discussion were Soviet proposals to launch a new disarmament conference and a general review of east-west relations. Warsaw Radio had said last week the only positive example of dialogue between East and West was the opening of negotiations in Geneva between Washington and Moscow on limiting nuclear weapons in Europe.
The Foreign Minister' talks followed a meeting of Warsaw Pact military leaders in Prague last week. The Polish authorities appeared to respond to arguments in other Eastern Bloc capitals, that anti-communist forces were at work in Poland. They reprimanded diplomats from Britain, the United States and West Germany for what they described as "inadmissible meddling" in Polish affairs.
Meanwhile a delay in registering "Solidarity", Poland's largest independent trade union is causing tension between the Government and the unions. The Polish government's concession to trade unionism has provoked open criticism from Poland's eastern bloc allies. As the ministers assembled in Warsaw, Polish authorities acknowledged that they faced political difficulties in registering the biggest of the new unions.