Statement on Arms Control and Reduction

January 21, 1983

This morning I met with our chief negotiators for the strategic and intermediate nuclear arms control negotiations we are engaged in with the Soviet Union -- Ambassadors Ed Rowny and Paul Nitze. Vice President Bush, Secretaries Shultz and Weinberger, ACDA [U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency] Director-designee Ken Adelman, and my national security adviser, Bill Clark, also joined the discussion.

Since our negotiators will soon return to Geneva for the next round of the negotiations, and since the Vice President leaves for Europe to review these and other arms control and security matters with our allies, today's meeting gave us an opportunity to review the status of the negotiations and to reaffirm our serious purpose for the coming round.

Our proposals for massive reductions in strategic arsenals and for the elimination of an entire class of nuclear missiles in the intermediate nuclear forces deserve the support of all who seek genuine arms reductions. The coming round of the negotiations is particularly important, because our far-reaching proposals combined with our defense modernization programs provide a strong incentive for reaching agreements on lower levels of forces on an equitable and verifiable basis.

I am determined to explore every possibility for equitable agreements to reduce the arsenals and the risks of war and to strengthen the foundation for peace. And I have so instructed our negotiators. Our entire arms control team supports this vital goal. We have no higher priority, and we will spare no effort where the peace and security of our nation and of the world are concerned.