Basic Treaty, 1972


Basic Treaty, 1972

The Basic Treaty ( _de. Grundlagenvertrag) is the short-hand name for the "Treaty concerning the basis of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic" ( _de. Vertrag über die Grundlagen der Beziehungen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik). West Germany (FRG) and East Germany (GDR) recognized each other as sovereign states for the first time, an abandonment of West Germany's Hallstein Doctrine in favor of Ostpolitik.

After the entry into force of the Four-Power Agreement from 1971, both states began negotiations over a Basic Treaty. Like the Transit Agreement of 1972, the discussions were led by the Under-Secretaries of State Egon Bahr (for the FRG) and Michael Kohl (for the GDR). As part of the Ostpolitik of Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt, the treaty was signed on December 21, 1972 in East Berlin. It was ratified the next year in West Germany, despite opposition from hard-line conservatives. It came into effect in June 1973.

The signing of the treaty paved the way for both German nations to be recognised by the international commnunity. Diplomatic relations were opened between the German Democratic Republic and:
* Australia (December 1972),
* the UK, France and the Netherlands (February 1973),
* the Federal Republic of Germany (February 1974) and the USA (December 1974). Both German nations were also admitted to the United Nations, on 18. September 1973.

References

* [http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/print_document.cfm?document_id=172 Basic Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR (December 21, 1972)] on the [http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/index.cfm German Historical Institute] Website

Further reading

* [http://www.osce.org/documents/osce/1975/08/15773_en.pdf Address by the Chancellor of the FRG, Helmut Schmidt] (PDF) to the third stage of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, Helsinki, 20 July to 1 August 1975


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