East Germany Table of Contents
East Germany has demonstrated a pronounced interest in expanding its relations with France. Long-term historical reasons, as well as practical considerations, motivate that interest. In addition, several members of the SED Politburo as well as government officials had spent some of their exile years during World War II in France. In 1967 a major diplomatic success was achieved by East Berlin when the "Friendship Group, FranceGDR " was formed by a group of deputies in the French legislature. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were begun on February 9, 1973. In the mid-1980s, the two countries strengthened their ties. In January 1984, cultural centers were opened in East Berlin and Paris, and in June 1985 French premier Laurent Fabius visited East Germany. France's share of East Germany's foreign trade has climbed from 0.6 percent in 1960 to 1.5 percent in 1985 (see Foreign Trade , ch. 3).
Data as of July 1987