. Message From Chairman Khrushchev to President-elect Kennedy

 

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HistoryCentral.com > JFK >Correspondence

Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State


Moscow, July 27, 1963, 1 a.m.


Following is text Embassy translation of letter addressed to President handed by Khrushchev to Harriman this afternoon (original being carried by Harriman):
"His Excellency John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, Washington.
Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for your message transmitted to me by Mr. A. Harriman at the time of my first meeting with him and Lord Hailsham on July 15.

I am happy that the visit of Mr. Harriman to Moscow was a success and that our governments together with the Government of Great Britain succeeded in working out an agreed draft treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons tests in the three environments--the atmosphere, the cosmos and under water.
This is a good beginning. I think that you agree with this. Now it seems we can with even greater basis hope that the negotiations which have taken place will have, as you say, serious and positive consequences for the cause of peace.
I agree with you that we are living at a time when it is important to achieve progress together in international affairs. It is particularly important, I would say, that this be really tangible and actual progress creating a new situation--a situation of relaxation of tension, thus opening to us the prospect of solution of other pressing problems and questions.
It should be noted in this connection as a positive result of the negotiations which have taken place that agreement was reached for continuation of discussion of the question regarding the conclusion of a non-aggression pact between the countries of NATO and the states-participants of the Warsaw Treaty with the purpose of achieving agreement.

We consider that conclusion of such a pact would fundamentally improve the international atmosphere, would facilitate the strengthening of confidence in relations between states-members of opposing military groups.
I recall, Mr. President, that you also have expressed yourself on the usefulness of members of NATO and Warsaw Pacts taking upon themselves obligations to live in peace with one another and on the readiness of the United States to consider the question of ways of diminishing tensions in relations between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
If the conclusion of a treaty for the cessation of nuclear tests were followed by the signing of a pact of non-aggression between the NATO countries and the states of the Warsaw Pact, then this would be not only an important step toward normalization of the entire world situation, but could signify the beginning of a turning point in the history of contemporary international relations, would open the prospect of transition from the state of cold war to one of peaceful co-existence, businesslike cooperation between states.
In the meetings with Mr. Harriman I mentioned other possible steps leading in this direction. I think that by common efforts--and Mr. President, the matter will not be delayed by us--we could, as the military say, building upon our initial success, really make an important contribution to the strengthening of peace throughout the world.

We would like to continue the discussion of all these questions with Secretary of State D. Rusk if he is authorized to do this by you when he comes to Moscow for the signing of the treaty for the cessation of nuclear weapons tests. It is scarcely necessary to say that Mr. Rusk will be received by us with complete cordiality. In conclusion I can testify that Mr. Harriman showed himself to be worthy of the recommendation which you gave him in your letter. Furthermore, we never doubted this. He is really an old friend of ours. He spent a number of years in the Soviet Union, and in his time did a great deal for the development of Soviet/American relations. We remember this and are always pleased to exchange views with him on questions of interest to our two countries.
Accept, Mr. President, warm greetings and best wishes for you, your wife, your mother whom I met in Vienna, from myself, from my wife Nina Petrovna and from our entire family. Sincerely, N. Khrushchev. 26th July."
Kohler

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