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Gorbachev to Address U.N. After Summit

September 19, 1987|DON SHANNON | Times Staff Writer

UNITED NATIONS — Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev will address the U.N. General Assembly after he holds a summit meeting with President Reagan, probably in the fall, a U.N. official said Friday.

It will be the first time that a Soviet leader has appeared here since the late Nikita S. Khrushchev created an uproar by banging his shoe on a desk during a speech to the General Assembly session of 1960.

The official, who spoke on condition that he not be further identified, said Gorbachev had originally planned to speak during the assembly's general debate, the three-week period beginning Monday when President Reagan and other world leaders will be here. The official said the timing of the summit meeting with Reagan, which U.S. officials said Friday would probably be in the second half of November now that the United States and the Soviet Union have reached agreement in principle on eliminating intermediate-range missiles, prompted Gorbachev to schedule his appearance then.

Interrupt Business

"The assembly can interrupt business any time to hear a head of government, and many others have spoken following the general debate period," the official said. "We were always fairly certain Gorbachev would come but we were convinced after his article in (the Soviet Communist Party newspaper) Pravda (on) Thursday proposing a new role for the United Nations as a monitor of disarmament agreements and guarantor of world peace."

Gorbachev is assured of an overwhelming welcome here, since he, rather than Reagan, is perceived as the initiator of the superpower accord. By appearing alone in November, without competition for media attention from other world leaders, he will receive star treatment.

Reagan, scheduled to speak Monday, will share the spotlight with Japan's Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and nine other heads of government and foreign ministers.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Ali Khamenei will command attention from delegates listening for his government's response to Security Council peace efforts in the seven-year-old Iran-Iraq War. In the days that follow, until Oct. 9, a parade of presidents, prime ministers and even crowned heads, from Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega to Lesotho's King Moshoeshoe II, will take the rostrum.

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