Gorbachev Wants Summit, He Tells 2 Congressmen
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev definitely wants a full summit with President Reagan, but it is unclear what agreements he expects to reach at the meeting, two U.S. congressmen said today.
Reps. Dante B. Fascell (D-Fla.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and William S. Broomfield (R-Mich.) met for nearly three hours with Gorbachev in the Kremlin.
“He said that he’s still interested, he still wants to go, that he feels confident we can get there, and that he would like something substantive out of it,” Fascell said at a news conference.
“We pointed out that the United States is not interested simply in reaching agreement for agreement’s sake, and that we are also interested in something substantive and need to have a better understanding of what the general secretary (Gorbachev) was talking about when he said he wanted something substantive, and not simply go through the amenities.”
Fascell said that in the conversation, “We could not, by the process of asking questions, elicit what it was the Soviet Union or general secretary has in mind as a specific program that would satisfy their political position or policy position with respect to having a ‘substantive step’ coming out of the summit.”
Fascell said he did find it “quite clear” that Gorbachev was not conditioning a second summit on agreement for a comprehensive nuclear test ban. “It’s a matter of policy on their part but it’s not a precondition with respect to this particular summit,” he said.
He said he was sure there would be a summit this year.
At their meeting in Geneva last November, Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to hold a second summit in Washington this year. But the Soviets have so far resisted setting a date.
Last week, Gorbachev proposed that he and Reagan meet as soon as possible in Europe to discuss a nuclear test ban. The White House rejected such a meeting.