President Reagan, declaring that his Administration is ending at “a portentous time” in East-West affairs, called on his successor today to continue support of Nicaraguan Contra rebels, aggressively pursue “Star Wars” defense technology and maintain U.S. military strength.
In a speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Reagan also said the new Administration should continue negotiations for arms reductions and “be unafraid to point out the moral wrong of those who would repress liberty.”
Reagan did not mention either Vice President George Bush, the Republican presidential nominee, or Democratic candidate Michael S. Dukakis in his speech.
Reagan’s appearance before the nonpartisan world affairs group, his third since he became President, followed a day of campaigning for Bush and other GOP candidates in Arkansas, Missouri and California.
From Los Angeles, Reagan was to travel to his ranch north of Santa Barbara, where he and First Lady Nancy Reagan will spend the weekend before receiving awards from the Simon Weisenthal Foundation in Los Angeles on Sunday night. The foundation supports studies of the Nazi Holocaust.
Reagan will hold a series of private meetings Monday, then campaign in California, Reno, Milwaukee and at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, before returning to the White House late Wednesday.
‘A Portentous Time’
“Whatever the future may hold, it is safe to say we have come a long way and this is a portentous time,” Reagan told the world affairs forum after reviewing reforms in the Soviet Union, progress in arms control and settlement of regional conflicts.
“It is in this spirit that we can move forward aggressively through the remainder of this Administration and into the next with what, I believe, must be our critical foreign policy goals,” he said.
“First, we must maintain progress in settling regional conflicts, conflicts that could so easily escalate into a larger war,” he said. “Here especially, it is essential to stick to the policy in Central America. . . . We must support the Contras.”
“Second, we must aggressively pursue the research, development and testing of our Strategic Defense Initiative,” Reagan said, referring to the formal name of the “Star Wars” anti-missile program.
He said the Administration has been able to “reduce the projected cost of our most promising program by tens of billions of dollars” because of recent research breakthroughs.
“Third, we must at all costs keep our entire defense structure strong,” Reagan said.
Asks Candor on Rights
He said the new President should continue “our public candor about human rights abuses” and “be unafraid to point out the moral wrong of those who would repress liberty.”
On arms control, Reagan said a treaty governing long-range nuclear missiles “is attainable in the next few years"--a less-optimistic projection than in his recent speech to the U.N. General Assembly, in which he said a treaty might be possible next year.
Reagan greeted with caution the Kremlin’s announcement Thursday that it is turning over its controversial radar installation at Krasnoyarsk in Siberia to the Soviet Academy of Sciences for use as a civilian-run international space research center.
“We are certainly listening to what they have to say,” he said. “But our legitimate concerns must be met.”
The Administration maintains that the radar installation is a violation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.