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Shultz, Shevardnadze to Meet on Arms : July Talks to Focus on Obstacles to Agreement, Possible Summit

June 23, 1987|Associated Press

GENEVA — Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze plan to meet in Washington in mid-July to try to resolve obstacles to an arms control agreement, U.S. arms control adviser Edward Rowny said today.

Rowny told a news conference that he did not know whether a specific date had been fixed for the meeting.

In Washington, a U.S. official said the two men will probably meet July 10-11. The official, who demanded anonymity, said the United States proposed two sets of dates for the session, July 5-6 and July 10-11. The Soviets turned down the first and are "75% to 80% agreeable" to the second, the official said.

Will Discuss Summit

A senior U.S. official in Washington said the two men will also discuss human rights and a possible summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

"I would not exaggerate its relationship to a summit but view the meeting as a way to move the mechanism forward," the senior official said. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rowny said talks in Geneva on intermediate-range nuclear forces will continue until the meeting in Washington. Shultz and Shevardnadze will try to resolve remaining problems at their talks, he said.

"There's no way I can see any type of treaty being ready by August. But by late fall, if the Soviets agree to some things, if the mid-July meeting between Shultz and Shevardnadze resolves all of the remaining issues, " a treaty could be possible, Rowny said.

"It's still tough, but it's possible," he added.

Rowny said the Geneva talks would have to "really accelerate" and Soviet leaders would have to "really unleash their negotiators" if progress is to be made.

The two sides have a 130-page draft treaty as a working document and "not one page is agreed," he said, adding that 137 working days remain this year.

He said the Soviets have made "a step in the right direction" at the talks by acknowledging that global elimination of medium-range missiles, an eventual U.S. goal, would make it easier to guard against cheating on a treaty.

The two sides are discussing a proposal to scrap their medium-range missiles in Europe while keeping 100 warheads each on their own territory, with the Soviet missiles in Asia.

'Interim Measure'

The United States agreed to this as an "interim measure" but would like to see the remaining 100 warheads eliminated, Rowny said. This would remove the need for certain verification measures such as inspections of missile housing facilities and production facilities, which are included in the current U.S. proposal, he said.

"The Soviets have acknowledged that the remaining 100 makes a big difference in verification" but they have not gone any farther, he said.

Rowny said the Soviets have not responded to the U.S. proposal made last week at Geneva to also scrap shorter-range missiles worldwide.

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