WASHINGTON -- A leading Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told West Germany's foreign minister today he is confident the new U.S.-Soviet nuclear missile treaty will win Senate ratification.
Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., met with Hans-Dietrich Genscher to discuss the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1987.
The committee opens hearings Monday on the treaty that would eliminate American and Soviet nuclear missiles, most of them based in East and West Germany, with ranges of 300 to about 3,500 miles.
Lugar said there may be a lengthy debate on the treaty, 'but eventually a strong vote in ratifying the INF treaty.'
Genscher met with Lugar, the former chairman of the committee, and Sens. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., Daniel Evans, R-Wash., and Dan Quayle, R-Ind.
Genscher said NATO firmly supports the treaty but that the allies are concerned about other arms issues, such as the Warsaw Pact lead in tanks and other conventional arms, and chemical weapons.
'There was great interest on progress on a chemical weapons treaty, likewise a reduction in conventional weaponry throughout Europe,' Lugar told reporters.
'He points out Germany is really in harms' way when it comes to the conventional situation,' Lugar said. 'There is great interest by the Germans to see reductions of tanks, armored (personnel) carriers, and other conventional weapons, and the spacing out of those forces for the security of Germany.'
Lugar said the verification requirements of a chemical weapons treaty are a difficult challenge to successful negotiations.
'The foreign minister mentioned that there is increasing anxiety for the Federal Republic and many other countries with the proliferation of chemical weapons,' he said.
Genscher expressed the same concerns to reporters after he met with Reagan and said he told Reagan West Germany will begin deregulation of telecommunications that would further open his country's market to American products.