The new United States Vice-President Walter Mondale got off to a position start on Monday (24 January) to his whirlwind tour of Western Europe and Japan.
GV EXTERIOR: NATO building, Brussels, belgium.
SV INTERIOR: U.S. Vice President Mondale arrives at NATO building and enters with NATO Secretary General Dr Joseph Luns and officials
SV: General Alexander Haig, NATO Supreme military commander and Service chiefs.
SV INTERIOR: Mondale follows Luns to meet Haig and Luns shakes hands with Haig.
SV INTERIOR Mondale takes se??.
SV: Luns seated
GV PAN: delegates seated at circular conference table
Mr. Mondale said that the Atlantic alliance had to take the Soviet military build-up into account and agree on the appropriate response. President Carter and his administration were vitally aware of the continuing growth in Soviet military power. He added that NATO could not accept reductions in defence capabilities except through negotiations with the Warsaw Pact. He also reaffirmed Mr. Carter's intention to resume Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) with the Soviet Union, and promised to consult closely with NATO allies before they began. Mr Mondale left for Bonn on Monday night on the second leg of a trip that will take in West Berlin, Rome, London, Paris and Tokyo.
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Background: The new United States Vice-President Walter Mondale got off to a position start on Monday (24 January) to his whirlwind tour of Western Europe and Japan. He told ambassadors to NATO, that United States spending on the western military alliance may increase under the Carter administration. He said that President Jimmy Carter was determined to maintain fully effective defence forces in Europe.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Mondale's visit to the NATO headquarters in Brussels followed a working breakfast with Belgian Prime Minister Leo Tindemans. He then met NATO Secretary-General Joseph Luns before addressing the NATO Council, the alliance's most powerful body. Vice President Mondale is on the first stage of a ten-day, six-nation tour to establish the first top-level contacts between the new Carter administration and America's major allies in Europe and Japan.
NATO officials were concerned over the possible implications of Mr Carter's election campaign pledge that up to seven billion dollars could be trimmed budget without impairing the country's strength. But Mr Mondale told the council that the cost cutting would not be reflected in cuts in NATO muscle. His packed schedule also included a meeting with NATO's supreme mo military commander, General Alexander Haig, seen here with Mr Mondale and Dr Luns.
Mr Mondale said that President Carter was prepared to consider increased U.S. investment in NATO's defence, but in return the United States expected its European allies to join with it in improving NATO's defence forces to the limit of their individual abilities. Mr Mondale also told the council that President Carter felt it was imperative to continue the dialogue between East and West.