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Nixon, Gorbachev Have 'Frank' Talk on U.S.-Soviet Relations

July 19, 1986|From Reuters

MOSCOW — Former President Richard M. Nixon met with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev for nearly two hours Friday for what the Tass news agency described as "a detailed and frank conversation" at the the end of Nixon's weeklong, private fact-finding visit to Moscow.

Tass said the meeting was arranged at Nixon's request and was attended by Anatoly F. Dobrynin, former Soviet ambassador to the United States and now a senior Kremlin foreign policy adviser.

Tass said Nixon and Gorbachev discussed U.S.-Soviet relations, but it offered no details. John Taylor, a spokesman for Nixon, also refused to give details, saying only that the talks lasted an hour and 45 minutes.

Taylor said Nixon told President Reagan before coming to Moscow that he would not speak to the press. Nixon, who met with Reagan at the White House, is to report back to him after he returns to the United States.

The spokesman said Nixon will arrive in New York today and that it will be up to the two men to decide when to get together.

The meeting with Gorbachev came as Nixon concluded his first visit to Moscow since he resigned the presidency 12 years ago in the midst of the Watergate scandal.

Nixon had talks on Tuesday with Soviet President Andrei A. Gromyko, who was Soviet foreign minister during the Nixon Administration, and a two-hour conversation with Dobrynin on Wednesday. Nixon's spokesman has given no details of his meetings with Dobrynin and Gromyko.

The Soviet state press has given Nixon only brief coverage at a time when preparations for a second superpower summit have just resumed. The U.S. Embassy has stressed the private nature of the trip.

Dobrynin, Nixon's host in Moscow, was prominent in conveying Soviet leaders' views during his 24 years as ambassador in Washington, particularly through a "back channel" between him and Nixon's Secretary of State, Henry A. Kissinger.

Since returning to Moscow in March as a Central Committee secretary, Dobrynin has begun a similar dialogue with U.S. Ambassador Arthur A. Hartman, diplomats said.

They said that because Nixon holds no official post in the U.S. Administration, it is unlikely that he would be given any messages from Gorbachev to convey to Reagan.

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