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Shultz, Soviets Report Progress in Arms Talks

October 22, 1987|From Reuters

MOSCOW — Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze made progress on arms control and other issues at talks in Moscow today, spokesmen for both sides said.

State Department spokesman Charles E. Redman and Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Gerasimov said the ministers held two rounds of constructive discussions in the morning and afternoon and were meeting for a third time in the evening.

Redman told a news briefing that Shultz and Shevardnadze are making progress toward finalizing a treaty to ban medium- and shorter-range nuclear missiles but that problems remain over verification and a timetable for dismantling the weapons.

Gerasimov, addressing the same briefing, said, "We are optimists." He quoted Shevardnadze as saying over lunch: "There is every chance to complete (a medium-range missiles treaty) if the experts do not let us down."

Gerasimov, referring to Shultz's planned meeting Friday with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, said: "There are great hopes. . . . Much will depend on tomorrow's meeting between Shultz and Gorbachev."

8 Groups of Experts

Redman said the two ministers discussed human rights in the morning and issues relating to medium-range and strategic nuclear missiles in the afternoon. The evening session was to cover the world's regional problems, he said.

The two sides had set up eight different working groups of experts dealing with medium-range weapons, strategic arsenals, conventional forces, chemical weapons, bilateral problems, regional issues, human rights and nuclear testing, he said.

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