Shultz to Talk to Shevardnadze About Summit
Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that he will meet with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze next month to lay the groundwork for a second summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
Arrangements for the Shultz-Shevardnadze meeting were made during a 75-minute session between Reagan and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin.
Shevardnadze will visit Washington in mid-May, but Shultz did not say whether that will allow the two sides enough time to prepare for a summit within the pre-August timetable set by Reagan.
Shultz said Dobrynin made it clear that the Soviet side would not establish any preconditions for the meeting, but he said both sides expressed an interest in “substantive” results.
‘Substantive . . . Constructive’
Dobrynin was recently elevated to the Secretariat of the Communist Party Central Committee and his visit to the Oval Office was in the form of a farewell call. Shultz said the meeting was “very substantive and constructive and advanced matters.”
He said Dobrynin brought a letter to Reagan from Gorbachev.
The Soviet press agency Tass said Gorbachev’s message to Reagan “analyzes the present state of Soviet-U.S. relations and substantiates the need for steps to improve them.”
It said Reagan and Dobrynin had a “thorough exchange of opinion on these issues.”
Pressing for June or July
The Reagan Administration has been pressing for a summit in either June or July in the United States as a follow-up to the Reagan-Gorbachev meeting last November in Geneva.
But the Administration has accused Moscow of dragging its feet in making the arrangements, raising doubts whether the President’s timetable can be met.
As an alternative, Administration officials have indicated that if Reagan’s preferred time frame cannot be met, the summit may have to be put off until November or later.
Reagan plans to go on vacation in August and will be occupied with legislative matters and the fall congressional election campaigns between September and the first week in November.