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Reagan Sees Summit as Meeting of Old Enemies, Not Friends

December 02, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said today that President Reagan's recent tough rhetoric toward the Soviet Union reflects his belief that his coming meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev is "a summit between old enemies," not friends.

"The speeches that the President has made and his comments concerning arms control and dealing with the Soviets (are) entirely devised to set a climate that we think is appropriate for the summit," Fitzwater told reporters.

He denied that the President was heating up his rhetoric to please his conservative critics, who are opposed to the U.S.-Soviet treaty to be signed next week.

Fitzwater said that Reagan is seeking an arms pact "to try to reduce what is a very real threat between the two countries," but that he is entering the process with skepticism and open eyes.

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