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Shevardnadze Expected to Suggest December Summit

October 29, 1987|Associated Press

MOSCOW — Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze, due in Washington on Friday for talks with President Reagan and Secretary of State George P. Shultz, will propose that a U.S.-Soviet summit meeting be held in the first week of December, a Soviet official who demanded anonymity said today.

Another Soviet official, Foreign Ministry spokesman Boris Pyadyshev told reporters that the two sides have agreed on an agenda for the summit, which he said is "fixed for the end of the year."

The agenda, he said, includes "medium-range and shorter-range missiles, questions relative to strategic offensive weapons and the ABM (anti-ballistic missile) treaty."

Shevardnadze is believed to be bringing a message for Reagan from Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev. The Soviet official source said the message contains a suggestion that the two hold a summit the first week in December.

Reagan Hasn't Heard

In Washington, Reagan said he has not received word from Moscow that the timing for the next superpower summit has been set for the end of the year.

Reagan replied with a one-word "nope" when asked about the Soviet spokesman's statement that a year-end meeting had been fixed between Reagan and Gorbachev.

"I'm going to wait until tomorrow and find out," Reagan said, referring to the scheduled meeting with Shevardnadze. Reagan commented during a picture-taking session in the Oval Office with his budget negotiators.

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater, asked about the report from Moscow that a summit date has been "fixed," told reporters: "I don't know. It's not been fixed with us. We'll discuss it when the foreign minister comes."

Wait-and-See Stance

Reagan on Wednesday renewed his offer to be host to Gorbachev but took a wait-and-see stance until he receives the message from Shevardnadze at the White House.

"Summits can be useful for leaders and for nations--occasions for frank talk and a bridge to better relations," Reagan said in a speech to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

"It would be good for Mr. Gorbachev to see this country for himself.

"When the general secretary is ready to visit the United States, I and the American people will welcome him," the President added.

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