Battling a rising tide of what he called "hyped speculation," President Bush insisted today that there will be no deals concluded and "no surprises" at his seaborne summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
Summoning reporters to the Oval Office two days before departing to the Mediterranean for his first summit, Bush reiterated that "there is no set agenda" for the weekend shipboard meeting off the coast of Malta.
At the same time, Bush underlined some issues he sees as important, saying he was particularly impressed by a call he received today from Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez, saying Gorbachev should be urged to stop aiding Cuba's Fidel Castro.
"I will raise with him (Gorbachev) . . . that the Soviet Union should stop feeding Fidel Castro," Bush said.
"I am very concerned about events in Central America," the President continued, "and I will be urging Mr. Gorbachev to do what they should have done some time ago: cease support for those who are fueling revolution, exporting it in this hemisphere."
Raising his voice during a question-and-answer session that lasted about 15 minutes, Bush said he resents "all kinds of hyped speculation on the part of some" that the meeting "is going to be different" from the get-acquainted session he announced.
"We're prepared to talk about a wide range of issues," the President said, but he added, "It is not going to be the kind of a meeting that surprises our allies."
Bush said he "wanted to shoot down . . . this kind of frantic speculation" that the summit will yield progress on arms control and other East-West issues.
With rapid developments in Eastern Europe fueling speculation of sharp U.S. and Soviet force reductions, Bush said he wants to put down "euphoric expectations of some deal. There isn't going to be a deal."
"There are no arms control proposals. In writing, I have made clear to Mr. Gorbachev, in my own handwriting--it is from me, not from the bureaucracy--that this is not a summit for arms control agreements.
"We have a summit set (next summer) where, in consultation with our allies, we will move forward," Bush said.