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In Iceland, Reagan Vows Frank Talk

October 09, 1986|From Times Wire Services

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — President Reagan arrived in rainy Iceland today, promising frank talk without guarantee of success on arms control and other issues during his weekend rendezvous with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

Reagan arrived in the dark and rain at the Keflavik NATO base and made no comments as he was greeted by Iceland's president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the only elected woman president in the world, and other officials.

His raincoat buttoned to the throat against the chilly 40-degree temperatures, the President smiled and waved to well-wishers, including some U.S. military personnel stationed at the base, before stepping into his limousine for the 45-minute drive to the capital, Reykjavik.

An honor guard of Icelandic policemen stood beside the bottom of the aircraft steps as the President arrived. Iceland has no military forces and the police are the nearest thing to troops the country has.

'Quick Agreements' Not Goal

Before leaving Washington, Reagan said his goal is not to "dash off a few quick agreements."

In a statement before he boarded a helicopter on the White House lawn en route to Andrews Air Force Base and the 5 1/2-hour flight to Iceland for the Saturday and Sunday meetings, Reagan said the hurry-up summit "can be a step, a useful step and, if we persevere, the goal of a better, safer world will someday be ours and all the world's."

He said that for the United States to pursue peace, "we must face the tough issues directly and honestly and with hope."

But he said that "we cannot pretend that differences aren't there, seek to dash off a few quick agreements, and then give speeches about the spirit of Reykjavik."

Nancy at His Side

The President's wife, Nancy, stood at his side, and members of his Cabinet and staff gathered on the lawn to bid him farewell. As the noise of a passing plane drowned him out, Reagan looked to the sky and quipped, "Get out of the way."

Nancy Reagan, who did not go to the summit, walked the President partway to the helicopter, her husband's arm around her waist. They hugged, kissed and then, as Reagan continued on, waved at each other. Just before ducking into the aircraft, Reagan turned and waved again and blew a kiss.

A spokeswoman said the First Lady packed a "private love note" in Reagan's luggage to remind him of her and also some gloves and a muffler for him because she "wanted to make sure that he was packing some warm clothes."

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