Joint Statement Following Meetings in Rome With President Alessandro Pertini and Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini of Italy

June 7, 1982

At the invitation of the President of the Italian Republic, Sandro Pertini, the President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan, paid a visit to Rome on June 7th, 1982. The visit provided an opportunity for the two Presidents to have a productive exchange of views. Two useful meetings were held between President Reagan and the President of the Council of Ministers, Giovanni Spadolini. President Reagan took the opportunity to thank President Pertini for his recent state visit to the United States and conveyed to him the warm good wishes of the American government and the American people. President Pertini expressed to President Reagan his appreciation for the warm reception he enjoyed in the United States.

Presidents Reagan and Pertini reviewed the threat which international terrorism presents to the free world and noted with satisfaction the successes of the Italian and other Western governments in combatting this menace. The two Presidents also reviewed international trouble spots including Afghanistan, Poland, and Central and South America; the two reaffirmed their strongest commitment to the preservation and restoration of freedom and justice for all men. They noted their shared hope for a cessation of hostilities in the South Atlantic. The two Heads of State concluded their meeting with an affirmation of the strength of U.S.-Italian bonds and a review of those common values on which the two societies have been built.

Prime Minister Spadolini and President Reagan, first between themselves and then along with Minister of Foreign Affairs Emilio Colombo and Secretary of State Alexander Haig, reviewed a number of questions facing the two countries, including the 1979 decision by NATO to place intermediate range nuclear forces in Europe, together with the offer to the Soviet Union for simultaneous negotiations on control and limitation of such weapons; and the overall Middle East situation, with special attention to the two most urgent questions in that area at the moment; the Lebanese situation where it is of the utmost urgency to bring a cessation of the fighting. On the Iran-Iraq conflict -- the two sides agreed on the need for a political settlement respecting the territorial integrity of both nations.

In addition they reviewed the validity of both countries' participation in the Sinai multinational force and the prospects for the dialogue on Palestinian autonomy. They also examined East-West relations, including questions of trade and credit and issues related to economic and monetary cooperation between the two countries. The two Heads of Government reaffirmed their commitment to a policy aiming at a growing level of economic and commercial relations between the two countries in order to fight against inflation, promote growth and thereby employment.

President Reagan reviewed his proposals for the worldwide reduction of strategic nuclear weapons and for the reduction of intermediate-range nuclear forces in Europe. Prime Minister Spadolini noted with approval the recent announcement that the START talks will begin in Geneva on June 29. The two said they shared the aspirations of many of the young people who were marching for peace, took note of the institutions and policies which have kept the peace in Europe for almost forty years, and urged the Soviet Union to respond positively to proposals which have been made by the United States.

The Prime Minister and the President viewed with pleasure the new initiative for the exchange of young students between their countries which will begin in 1982.

The two governments agreed to begin regular meetings to discuss cultural and information matters with the desire to improve cultural programs and in order to examine means of strengthening relations in these fields. The first cultural and information talks will be held in Washington in October.

The two sides concluded their talks by welcoming recent decisions to strengthen mutual consultations as an expression of the special and close relationship which Italy and the United States enjoy.