Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks Announcing the Soviet-United States Summit Meeting in Moscow

March 23, 1988

The President A very brief announcement-we've begun our meetings, and of course, as you know, they're going to resume. We've only had a short time together, the Foreign Minister and myself, but can announce that it has been agreed: The Moscow summit will be from May 29th through June 3d—I'm sorry—June 2d, May 29, June 2d. Mr. Minister, do you have any—

Reporter. Mr. President, do you think you'll have an arms control treaty by then, sir?

Q. Do you think you'll have an arms control treaty to sign at that summit when you go to Moscow, sir?

The President. I have no way to answer that now. We're—

Q. Can you make enough progress to at least have agreement in principle, Mr. President?

The President. Well, I think we had an agreement in principle that even led to this before we even started. Both sides had said we want to look toward a certain proportionate decrease in arms.

Q. Then why aren't you going to sign one?

Q. What will you accomplish then, sir, at the—

The President. What?

Q. What will you accomplish with a summit if you cannot sign an agreement?

The President. Well, there are a number of other subjects that we continue to discuss with each other.

Q. Will you only go to Moscow?

The President. Look, I can't—

Q. Have you made progress on verification, Mr. President? What are the obstacles? The Intelligence Committee is warning that the Soviets might cheat.

The President. I can't report on anything else. Andrea [Andrea Mitchell, NBC News], I can't take any further questions.

Q. Mr. Foreign Minister, can we ask you a question, sir?

The Foreign Minister. We have set the date, and now we shall take care of good substance, good content, for the summit.

Soviet Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Q. Mr. Foreign Minister, can you tell us whether you've made progress with an agreement for withdrawal from Afghanistan?

The Foreign Minister. There is progress, yes.

Q. Have you agreed to withdraw?

Q. —for withdrawal before the Geneva accords?

Note: The President spoke at 11:54 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze spoke in Russian and his remarks were translated by an interpreter. The President and the Foreign Minister then attended a luncheon in the Residence.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks Announcing the Soviet-United States Summit Meeting in Moscow Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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