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Gorbachev Stuns Onlookers, Stops to Shake Hands

December 10, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Bystanders who lined up along a busy downtown street for a glimpse of Mikhail S. Gorbachev's motorcade got a big surprise today when the Soviet leader's car stopped and he got out and began shaking hands, campaign style.

The motorcade carrying Gorbachev and Vice President George Bush from the Soviet Embassy to the White House at midday suddenly stopped in front of a popular lunch spot frequented by capital city power-brokers.

Even though Gorbachev by then was an hour and a half late for his final meeting with President Reagan, the Soviet general secretary got out of his Zil limousine, followed by Bush, and began greeting bystanders and shaking hands.

"It was the most exciting thing I ever saw," said restaurant owner Randy Zeibert, who said about 1,000 people were waiting for the motorcade to pass by.

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