The NATO Ministerial Council met in Brussels today (Tuesday) to discuss France's withdrawal from NATO and the re-siting of the NATO headquarters.
Grand Palace and ministers arriving for opening meeting; Palais de Congress and ministers arriving for conference.
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Background: The NATO Ministerial Council met in Brussels today (Tuesday) to discuss France's withdrawal from NATO and the re-siting of the NATO headquarters.
France today virtually declined to negotiate with her NATO allies on a diplomatic level on the future role of French forces in West Germany once she withdraws from the alliance's integrated military commands. The French Foreign Minister, Mr. Couve de Murville, told the crucial meeting that French and NATO military chiefs, rather than political experts should decide how the 70,000 forces would function once they are withdrawn from NATO.
Although France plans to pull out of the alliance's military structure, President De Gaulle intends to keep his country in the alliance. The President warned that if satisfactory arrangements are not reached on the continued presence of French forces in West Germany under French command, he will withdraw them by July 1967.
This is the critical problem behind the technical dispute which the fifteen failed to resole today but they will try again tomorrow. There was one bright spot for the 14 who want the most effective co-operation with France. Mr Couve de Murville noted that the 14 were at odds over the future location of the NATO Council, now based in Paris. Mr Murville told them that France was prepared for the Council to remain in Paris but would not mind if it was moved.