Independent from Long Beach, California on January 23, 1975 · Page 70
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 70

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 23, 1975
Page 70
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* i Like those phone calls V ByELlASANTAR Associated Press Writer I; PARIS'(AP) - "Good night, Helmut," said H'romjh - ProoiHAnf Viln**i 1 Giscard d'Estaing with-a '' and the telephone chats have been known to go on as long as 45 minutes. · Sometimes the infor- card d'Estaing, 48, were elected last May within three days of each other. Schmidt phoned Gicard '""'Good night, Valery," replied German Chancel- loLgelmut Schmidt. . Tnat exchange on the steps' of the Elysee Pal! dce'^ home of French 'presidents, was in keeping witlfthe informal working relationship established by the two statesmen since they assumed their respective offices 7Vfe months ago. In their contacts Giscard d'Estaing and Schmidt consult frequently by phone on important issues, they began their close working habits when bop were finance minis- tenrand met frequently at conferences. They,speak in English, . hand. French critics of "telephone diplomacy" claim that in one recent Paris-Bonn exchange, Giscard d'Estaing neglected to jot down the gist of the conversation. HIS BRIEFING to lower-echelon French officials thus Was incomplate and led to problems when German and French diplomats met to settle the details, the critics claimed. But in general, the Valery-Helmut pho^e calls have helped unsnarl problems and maintain the fast pace of government both leaders find conformable, officials on each side say. Schmidt, 56, and Gis- u uoimii£ tu vuttgl Ulclic him, establishing the pattern. They phoned each other again just before Schmidt visited Paris at the, end of May. In another display of informality the two men started a near-riot when they casually walked from "the Elysee Palace to a nearby hotel where the German chancellor was staying. Recently, the phone calls had dealt mostly with preparation for a European summit conference which was held in Paris Dec. 9-10, and with Schmidt's apparently successful efforts to mediate differences between Paris and Washington over energy policy. SCHMIDTacting as middleman, flew to London to see Prime Minister Harold Wilson, then phoned Giscard d'Estaing lO ten uiiu V/USGu "w'Ouiu come to Paris for a round of conversations on problems facing the summit. Again, Schmidt phoned the French president to brief him on the oucome of talks with U.S. President, Ford in Washington. Then last month ther chancellor made the longest distance phone call yet. .-.··· ·'·- ··· ·" · He got Giscard d'Esta- ing OR the line just as the French leader was about to leave the airport on the Caribbean Island at Guadeloupe to fly to the n e a r b y island of Martinque for his own meeting with Ford next day. Giscard d'Estaing took the 4,600-mile transatlan- tic call in an office at Guadeloupe airport and spnke to Schmidt for 15 minutes. A senior presidential aide said Giscard d'Estaing, "didn't look surprised" by the call. Giscard 'd'Estaing was on the phone again upon his return to Paris. Officials in Bonn said the two leaders agreed that Ford was "a sympathetic, honest man not interested in confrontation" on the energy question. THE WHOLE concept of quick phone calls between world leaders has made the starchier members of the French Foreign Ministry unhappy. , During the d a y s of Giscard d'Estaing's two Gaullist predecessors, Charles de Gaulle and . Georges Pompidiou, the phone in the Elysee was hardly used at all, ;·£'. Communications wj-ith other leaders was!v;ia traditional diplomatic channels. :~;; DC Gaulle, in fact,-; refused to consult by phone with anyone, even -his closest aides. 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