Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko held six hours of talks today--two hours longer than expected, and U.S. officials said the discussions centered on arms control.
Emerging from the meeting, Shultz told reporters that the session was “lengthy, useful and worthwhile.”
U.S. officials said the talks centered on arms control, although the two men also discussed regional issues and human rights.
In addition to arms control, Shultz and Gromyko had been expected to discuss the Middle East, East-West tensions and possible arrangements for a fall meeting between President Reagan and new Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
The two men met at 2 p.m. in the Soviet Embassy, a three-story, stone building set behind iron gates, and ended their discussion about six hours later--at least two hours longer than had been planned.
Shultz was accompanied by National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane; Assistant Secretary of State Richard Burt; Arthur Hartman, U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, and Paul Nitze, former chief U.S. negotiator at the Geneva disarmament talks and now special adviser to Shultz on arms control negotiations.
Several hours before Shultz and Gromyko met, three members of the Greenpeace environmental organization climbed a crane and unrolled a banner outside the Soviet Embassy demanding an end to nuclear arms tests.
Florian Faber, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said the three unfurled a banner reading, “Put Words to Action--Stop Nuclear Tests.” The protesters came down on police orders after about 1 1/2 hours when authorities threatened to bring in the Fire Department to force them down, Faber said.
Shultz and Gromyko were in Vienna with nine other foreign ministers to mark the 30th anniversary of the treaty granting Austria its postwar independence.
Their meeting could accelerate preparations for a summit meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev.
Both Express Interest
Reagan and Gorbachev have expressed interest in a summit, but the time and place have not been set. “There is an invitation on the table,” Shultz said Monday on a flight from the Middle East.