American Secretary of State William Rogers returned to Washington Wednesday (June 9) after nine-days in Europe meeting with NATO allies.
LV ZOOM IN Rogers down aircraft steps and greeted.
SV ZOOM IN Rogers answers question. (SOUND)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 3: ROGERS: "Well I was interested in the fact that he used the world sincerity about our intentions. As you know the United States and our NATO allies proposed that we have discussions about mutual and balanced force reductions as far back as 1968. So it takes the Russians almost three years to respond to the initiative which NATO alliance took. There is no question about our sincerity. We are prepared to discuss these matters with a Warsaw pact group. At the Lisbon meeting the communique reflected a very positive point of view on the part of the alliance. So if its just a question of sincerity, there's no doubt about our sincerity."
QUESTION: "Mr. Secretary, on another issue--have you noticed or come upon any sign of flexibility on the North Vietnamese side concerning the prisoner of war issue?"
ROGERS: "No. None at all. I talked to David Bruce our ambassador this morning and he said there had been no change at all in their attitude."
QUESTION: "Do you believe that there is an added condition that the United States must stop its economic and military support of the Saigon regime before the prisoners will be released?"
ROGERS: "It rather looked that way from the article that appeared this morning in the interview between Xuan Thuy and Mr. Roberts. But I just don't know. They've changed their position...public position quite often. The fact of the matter is as ambassador Bruce told me today, there has been no change in their basic position on this issue
QUESTION: "Mr. Secretary, would the administration be willing to set a date for total withdrawal?"
ROGERS: "Well I have no further comments on that. The President had made several comments and the White House has made several comments."
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Background: American Secretary of State William Rogers returned to Washington Wednesday (June 9) after nine-days in Europe meeting with NATO allies.
Greeted at Washington's Andrews Air Force Base by reporters, Mr. Rogers assured the Soviet Union that NATO was indeed "sincere" concerning troop reductions in Europe. Rogers reminded the assembled newsmen that NATO first suggested talks on this subject in 1968.
Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin in Moscow on Monday had said that Russia was willing to reduce is armed forces in Europe if the NATO countries display a "sincere" position on bilateral withdrawals.