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Gorbachev Reportedly Hoping to Meet Influential Americans

November 25, 1987|JOHN J. GOLDMAN | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev hopes to meet with a broad spectrum of influential Americans during his summit meeting with President Reagan in Washington next month, including businessmen, members of Congress and perhaps journalists, according to industrialist Armand Hammer, who has just returned from a visit to Moscow.

Hammer, who has had longstanding high-level contacts in the Soviet Union, said Tuesday that he "was trying to encourage" a meeting with leaders of major American Jewish organizations when Gorbachev is in the United States. The Jewish organizations are planning a massive Washington rally the day before he arrives Dec. 7 to urge the Soviet Union to allow greater emigration.

"Gorbachev will try to reach as many listeners and viewers as possible," Hammer, who conferred with aides to the Soviet leader in Moscow, predicted. "I wouldn't exclude anything. I think it will be one of the principal items on the agenda."

Gorbachev already has agreed to a Moscow interview with NBC News to be broadcast Monday evening, and Hammer said that he anticipates that the Soviet leader will give interviews to other members of the media when he is in the United States.

The chairman and chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp., who first visited the Soviet Union in the Lenin Era, said that Gorbachev hopes in particular to confer with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Hammer said that economic development will be a theme of Gorbachev's visit. By broadening his contacts in the United States, Gorbachev hopes to achieve several goals, the industrialist said.

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