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Soviet-Australian relations - Joint Communique

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Do 21 24 January 1975


Attached is the text of the joint communique

issued at the conclusion of the Prime Minister's visit

to the USSR on 16 January 1975=

At the invitation of the Soviet Government the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon= E=G, Whitlam, paid an official visit to the USSR from January 12 to 16 1975»

During his stay in the Soviet Union Mr Whitlam and his party visited Moscow and Leningrad,

They had an opportunity to, see how the Soviet people live and work, as well as to acquaint themselves with their achievements in the fields of economics, science, education and culture.

The Prime Minister of Australia laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow and at the Piskaiovskoye Memorial Cemetry in Leningrad,

The Prime Minister and his party were everywhere accorded a warm welcome and generous hospitality.

‘ The Prime Minister of Australia, E,G, Whitlam, was received by the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, N,V, Podgorny,

In the talks which took place between the Chairman of the Soviet of Ministers of the USSR, A,N, Kosygin, the First Deputy Chairman of the Soviet of Ministers, K,T, Mazurov and the Prime Minister of Australia, E.G, Whitlam, there took part;

On the Soviet side - the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, V,V, Kuznetsov, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade of the USSR, M.R, Kuzmin, and other officials.

On the Australian side - the Special Minister of State, The Hon, L,F, Bowen, the Ambassador of φ Australia to the USSR, Sir James Plimsoll, the Secretary of the Department of Minerals and

Energy, Sir Lenox Hewitt, the Secretary of the Department of Overseas Trade, Mr D,H, McKay, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr R,A, Woolcott, and the Deputy Secre­

tary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, G.J, Yeend,

During the talks which were held in a business-like atmosphere and in a spirit of mutual understanding, the parties had a constructive exchange of opinions on major international issues of mutual interest as well as on matters concerning Soviet-Australian relations and the prospects of their development,

Both sides noted that the positions of the Soviet Union and Australia coincided or were close on a number of important international problems.

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They noted the significant developments which had taken place in recent years towards strengthening inter­ national peace and cooperation and consolidating, the spirit of detente in international relations.

Both sides agreed to make every effort, to ensure that relaxation of tension spread to all regions of the world and that the steady progress towards detente became irreversible.

Both parties noted the importance of the agreements and arrangements concluded between the USSR and the USA, directed at the further improvement of the international climate and, above all, the importance of the agreements on the prevention of nuclear war and the limitation of strategic arms.

The Soviet Union and Australia note with satis­ faction the considerable advances towards strengthening security and developing peaceful cooperation in Europe and express their hope that the Conference on Security and Co­ operation in Europe will be successfully concluded in the near future.

The Soviet Union and Australia attach great impor­ tance to strengthening peace and. stability in Asia and expressed their determination to contribute in every possible way to relaxing tensions further, to ensuring security and

to creating conditions for making Asia a continent of peace through the cooperative efforts of the states of the region.

Both sides emphasised the necessity of strict observance by all parties of the Paris Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam. 1 '

They welcomed concrete measures to implement the Agreement on restoring peace and achieving national accord in Laos and expressed themselves in favour of a just settle­ ment of the Cambodian problem with full consideration of

the national interests and legitimate rights of the people of Cambodia without any outside interference.

The parties noted that on the subcontinent of South Asia progress has been made in the normalisation of the situation in this region, which corresponds to the interests of consolidating peace and security, and establishing true

good-neighbourliness in South Asia.

Both sides expressed their readiness to participate, together with all interested states on an equal basis, in seeking a favourable solution to the problem of making the Indian Ocean an area of peace in accordance with the principles of international law.

In the course of the exchange of opinions on the situation in the Middle East, the parties emphasised the necessity to achieve as soon as possible a just and stable

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settlement in that region on the basis of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, including realising the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, as well as on the basis of ensuring the security and independence of all states of the region.

The parties express their hope that the Geneva Peace C^.e/ference on the Middle East will resume its work as soon as possible.

The Soviet Union and Australia proceed from the assumption that the cessation of the arms race, the ' achievement of general and complete disarmament covering both nuclear and conventional weapons, under strict and

effective international control, would be of paramount importance for a fundamental improvement of the international situation.

They believe that the convocation of a world dis­ armament conference may contribute to the practical solution of the pressing problems of disarmament.

Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and their determination to work for its effective and universal implementation, .

They share the opinion that it is necessary to agree as soon as possible on the full ban of all tests of nuclear weapons by all states, and also on the ban on chemical weapons,

The Soviet Union and Australia attach great impor­ tance to the conclusion of a convention on the prohibition of action to influence the environment and climate for military and any other purposes incompatible with the maintenance of international security, human well being and health.

The parties noted that their positions on the main issues of the law of the sea were close.

Considering the conference on the law of the sea to be of great importance they expressed themselves in favour of adopting constructive decisions in this field on an international basis with due regard for the interests of

all states.

Both sides declared their resolution to promote the increased effectiveness of the United Nations on the basis of strict observance of its Charter,

They believe that the main efforts of the United Nations must be directed to promoting the consolidation of the relaxation of international tension, to strengthening international peace and security, and to the development of

fruitful cooperation among states.

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During the talks, questions of Soviet-Australian relations were thoroughly discussed.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the favourable development of relations between the USSR and Australia in recent years and reaffirmed their determination to widen further mutually advantageous co­

operation on the basis of the principles of peaceful co-existence, respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, equal and mutually beneficial co­ operation.

The parties attach great importance to expanding contacts between state and political leaders of both countries.

They underlined the usefulness of further political consultations at various levels on matters concerning both bilateral relations and international problems of mutual interest.

It was agreed to continue this practice in future.

The parties consider that there are favourable possibilities to increase the volume of trade and the range of goods to be exchanged in both directions to mutual advantage.

The two sides acknowledged the advantages which have flowed from the Trade Agreement signed in 1973.

They noted particularly the part which the mixed Commission, set up under that Agreement, is playing in developing trade and economic relations between the two countries.

The parties exchanged views on prospects for the development of co-operation in other fields, including agriculture, energy and mineral resources, fisheries, maritime navigation, air communications and. also in the

field of Antarctic and world ocean studies,

During the visit, the parties signed an Agreement . on scientific and technical co-operation=

They noted that preliminary steps had already been taken towards identifying particular areas in which co­ operation would be developed under the Agreement.

A series of mutual visits by scientists of both countries was already in progress.

The parties also signed an Agreement on cultural co­ operation between the two countries which will establish a sound foundation for further development of Soviet-Australian ties in the fields of culture, education and sports.

The Soviet and Australian sides noted with satisfaction

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that the talks and discussions which took place during the visit of Prime Minister Whitiam to the Soviet Union were useful and would make a considerable contri­ bution to the further development of friendly relations between the Soviet Union and Australia»

On behalf of the Australian Government, Prime Minister Whitiam invited the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, Mr A 0N. Kosygin, to make an official visit to Australia,

The invitation was accepted with satisfaction at a time to be agreed upon.