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Gorbachev Won't Commit Self on Summit--Shultz

March 15, 1985|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Soviet chief Mikhail S. Gorbachev is pondering President Reagan's invitation to attend the first superpower summit in six years but has given no indication whether he will accept, Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today.

Shultz met with President Reagan this afternoon in the Oval Office to brief Reagan on his meeting with the new Soviet leader in Moscow and on the arms talks under way in Geneva.

Later, Shultz told reporters that Gorbachev has the U.S. invitation for a summit in this country under consideration but hasn't committed himself.

"The President would be glad to see Mr. Gorbachev here in the United States at his convenience," Shultz said.

"But beyond that I don't have anything further to add, but I think it would be a constructive thing for them to meet," Shultz said at a news conference at the State Department.

Shultz also said the two superpowers should take advantage of "this moment of opportunity" to establish better relations, but it remains to be seen whether the Soviets will cooperate.

"We see no obstacles on either side" toward improving relations, Shultz said.

Vice President George Bush joined Shultz in meeting Gorbachev in Moscow, where the Americans traveled for Konstantin U. Chernenko's funeral.

Earlier, an Administration source said the gist of Gorbachev's response to Reagan's invitation amounted to, "We're interested, we'll get back to you."

The Soviets took the invitation under advisement "as we expected them to do, and said they would discuss it and notify us later of a response," the official said Thursday, speaking on condition he not be identified.

He added there was "no hint one way or other" whether Gorbachev intended to accept Reagan's suggestion that they meet, most probably in the United States.

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