Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the President's Meeting With NATO Secretary General Joseph M. A. H. Luns

April 26, 1983

Earlier today, the President met with Joseph Luns, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The President and the Secretary General met in the Oval Office. The Secretary General is in the United States to meet with Secretary Weinberger and to maintain his regular consultations with U.S. leaders. They last met in June 1982 during the NATO summit in Bonn.

The two discussed the INF negotiations and the close and continuing allied consultations that have led to the alliance's strong unity behind the U.S. proposal. Both men agreed on the need for the alliance to remain steady on its deployment course if a concrete agreement with the Soviets is not reached.

The President and the Secretary General also discussed the NATO Economic Committee's study of the security implications of East-West economic relations. The President told the Secretary General that the study is an important part of the overall allied effort to develop a comprehensive Western approach to East-West economic relations.

The President also took this opportunity to express his deep respect to the Secretary General for his continuing and outstanding contributions to alliance security and unity.

Note: Deputy Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes made the statement at his daily press briefing in the Briefing Room at the White House.