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Exchange With Reporters on the Meetings With Soviet Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev in Malta

December 03, 1989

Q. Mr. President, has the weather ruined this summit?

The President. Hell, no. Hell, no. [Laughter] The summit's going just fine, thanks.

Q. Has it become the Gorky summit?

The President. It doesn't matter where you meet. We were supposed to go over to the other ship, and they couldn't make it over. So, we don't care where we're meeting. The big thing is, we're getting something done here. That's good. So, we're not standing on any protocol. These guys are ready to receive them. If they can't make it out here, we'll go to them.

Q. Are you getting less done because you have so much less time together?

The President. No. No, we had more time yesterday than we thought we'd have; and I think, looking at the reporting, it's coming out very well. And so -- the U.S. side, anyway -- I can say we're very pleased with what has taken place.

Q. Are you going to extend the talks?

The President. I think we've had -- see, we got more time in yesterday up till coming over here than we thought -- personal meeting with Mr. Gorbachev. The luncheon proved to be a working meeting. We talked all during the lunch. So, I don't think there is, but if their side thinks we need more time, fine. I said what I want to say and have a little more to say, in a bit. But it's going well; it really is.

Q. Any major -- on arms control, Mr. President?

The President. Well, as I told you before we came here, this is not an arms control summit. But if you'll stay tuned to our Press Secretary, we're going to do an official debrief. And I think you'll be pleased, or I think most of the world will, with what we've decided, in a broad sense, in terms of talking further about various categories of arms control.

Q. Is a START treaty really possible by next June?

The President. Yes, everything is possible. Yes, it's possible. We're fairly close together.

We'll see you all. Thank you, gentlemen.

Note: The exchange began at 9:50 a.m., as the President prepared to travel from the U.S.S. "Belknap" to the Soviet passenger liner "Maxim Gorky" in Marsaxlokk Harbor.

George Bush, Exchange With Reporters on the Meetings With Soviet Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev in Malta Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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