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Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)-German Democratic Republic (GDR) Treaty of 1972


known as the Treaty on the Bases of Relations, or Basic Treaty. The treaty was signed in Berlin on December 21 by M. Kohl, state secretary for the Council of Ministers of the GDR, and E. Bahr, state secretary of the office of the federal chancellor of the FRG; it became effective on June 21, 1973.

The treaty consists of a preamble and ten articles. The preamble states that the parties have come to an agreement in their effort to contribute to the relaxation of tension and strengthening of security in Europe, recognizing that the basic prerequisite for peace is respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all the European states within their present borders. The treaty provides for the establishment of normal good-neighborly relations between the GDR and the FRG (art. 1); the parties are bound to respect the aims and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (art. 2); to resolve their differences, in accordance with these principles, exclusively by peaceful means (art. 3); to promote peaceful relations among the states of Europe and to support efforts for arms limitation and disarmament, particularly in the field of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (art. 5); and to cooperate in developing economic, scientific, cultural, and other relations between the two states (art. 7). The treaty further provides for the exchange of permanent representative missions between the GDR and the FRG (art. 8).

The treaty contains an important clause (in art. 3) wherein the GDR and the FRG confirm the inviolability of the border existing between them now and in the future, each party pledging unconditional respect of the other’s territorial integrity. Furthermore, as provided in the treaty, neither of the two states may represent the other internationally or act in its name (art. 4). The treaty confirms that its provisions do not affect the treaties and agreements previously concluded between the two states or the latter’s relations with other states (art. 9).

A supplementary protocol to the treaty, signed at the same time, was appended to resolve certain practical problems between the GDR and the FRG.


Mezhdunarodnaia zhizri, 1973, no. 4.
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