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U.S., Soviets Resolve 'All Issues' : Way Cleared for Signing of Missile Pact at Summit

November 24, 1987|Times Wire Services

GENEVA — The United States and the Soviet Union today resolved "all outstanding issues" on a breakthrough treaty scrapping medium and shorter-range nuclear missiles, clearing the way for its signing at a summit in Washington in two weeks.

Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze made the announcement during a break near the end of two days of talks to resolve disagreements over how to prevent cheating on the treaty.

"We have completed all of the outstanding issues in an INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) agreement," Shultz said. "We are pleased."

"All that remains is to put some treaty language together, which others will do," said Shultz, who clearly was satisfied with the outcome of the treaty talks.

Shevardnadze, standing next to Shultz, also was smiling and appeared content.

"We are very pleased to have this result," Shevardnadze said.

4th Meeting in 3 Months

The two ministers spoke to reporters after an evening session at the U.S. diplomatic mission.

They met in the Swiss city Monday and today--their fourth meeting in three months--with instructions to complete the nuclear missile accord for signing at the Washington summit, which begins Dec. 7.

President Reagan, in Denver to push his Strategic Defense Initiative, also announced the agreement, saying, "I'm pleased to report that en route to Denver I received a call from Geneva, and it appears that all the remaining issues on reaching an INF agreement have been resolved, including a reliable and credible verification package."

Asked if he can sell the treaty to the Senate, Reagan said: "I'll bet we can. Yes."

Snagged on Details

The arms accord, the first ever to eliminate a category of deployed nuclear weapons, was more than 95% complete before this week's meetings but snagged on details involving verification by mutual on-site inspection of sensitive missile sites and production factories. (Story, Page 6.)

At a news conference, Shultz said the Soviets had not yet provided all the missile information requested by the United States but will turn the data over by the end of the week.

He said that arrangements for verifying U.S. and Soviet compliance with the treaty was "far beyond anything that's been attempted before."

Shultz challenged critics of the emerging accord "to stand up and say we should have more nuclear weapons instead of less."

The INF treaty, which would be the first arms control pact concluded by the Administration in nearly seven years in office, has been in the making since negotiations began in 1981. It would eliminate all ground-based nuclear missiles with ranges of 300 to 3,000 miles targeted against Eastern and Western Europe.

That would mean the scrapping of about 441 Soviet SS-20 missiles, each with three warheads, and the elimination of 108 U.S. Pershing-2 missiles deployed in West Germany and 464 ground-launched cruise missiles either installed or slated for deployment in Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.

U.S. inspectors will monitor the Soviets' dismantling and then remain to guard against violations for 10 years. The Soviets would have a corresponding inspection right in Western Europe and the United States.

Shultz will report to West European foreign ministers Wednesday in Brussels and return home on the eve of Thanksgiving.

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