Diplomacy: Friendly Advice

Kohl tries to avert a row

Few Western leaders have more in common than Ronald Reagan and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Despite a sizable difference in their ages (Reagan is 72, Kohl is 53), both are folksy, outgoing politicians who share profoundly conservative but optimistic values. Both men feel strongly that the West must upgrade its nuclear defenses if it is to remain free in the face of new Soviet military challenges. Even though neither can speak the other's language, they also instinctively like each other.

The warmth was still evident last...

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