Britain Invites Gorbachev to See Summit Leaders

From Times Wire Services

Prime Minister John Major said Thursday that he has invited Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to meet with leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations after their London summit July 15-17.

"After consulting the leaders of the other countries of the Group of Seven, I have today invited President Gorbachev to London for discussions with the Group of Seven immediately following the London summit," Major told the House of Commons.

Major said he also asked Gorbachev to remain in London for bilateral talks with British officials.

Gorbachev had indicated his desire to attend the G-7 summit to press for more aid for the Soviet Union's struggling economy and to support his reforms.

Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy are willing to meet Gorbachev during the summit, but the United States and Japan expressed reservations, wanting to link aid to the Soviets to greater efforts toward a market economy and political reforms.

During his June 6 Nobel lecture, Gorbachev made a thinly veiled plea to join the G-7 meeting.

Major said that the chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Anatoly Lukyanov, whom he met in London on Wednesday, carried a message from Gorbachev "reaffirming his commitment to political and economic reform."

Major's invitation for the Soviet leader to join discussions after the summit was apparently a compromise between those G-7 nations willing to have him at the conference and those who did not want him there as a full participant.

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