Message to Vasiliy V. Kuznetsov on the Death of General Secretary Konstantin U. Chernenko of the Soviet Union

March 11, 1985

Please accept my condolences on the death of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko.

At this solemn time, I wish to reiterate the strong desire of the American people for world peace. Although the problems which divide our countries are many and complex, we can and must resolve our differences through dialog and negotiation. Our two delegations are sitting down in Geneva to begin negotiation on how to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons. We must seize the opportunities for peace. We need to find ways to reduce the threat and use of force in solving international disputes. We must also establish a working relationship that builds greater trust and cooperation between us. I hope that the Soviet leadership will join with me with renewed dedication to create a firm and durable basis for better relations between our two countries.

Note: Vasiliy V. Kuznetsov is First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.