Statement on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Reductions

March 6, 1987

I have just met with Ambassadors Kampelman, Glitman, and Lehman to hear their report on the nuclear and space talks in Geneva. The level, intensity, and seriousness of the effort in Geneva have brought us closer to significant reductions in nuclear arms. As you know, the Soviet Union has recently offered to move ahead with an agreement to cut longer range INF missiles. This is something the United States and our allies have long urged. This week, at my direction, the American delegation in Geneva proposed a draft treaty incorporating the understandings which General Secretary Gorbachev and I reached on this subject at Reykjavik. Because of the opportunities for progress that are opening up, I have asked Ambassador Glitman to return to Geneva immediately. He and his team will continue working hard to remove the remaining obstacles to an INF agreement. I hope this will in turn spur progress in other aspects of the Geneva negotiations, particularly agreement on deep reductions in strategic nuclear arms.

I am determined to maintain the momentum we have generated. For that reason, Secretary of State Shultz will go to Moscow to meet with Foreign Minister Shevardnadze. The Soviet Government has agreed that this visit will take place from April 13 - 16. These talks will provide a good opportunity to review the entirety of our relationship -- including regional conflicts, human rights, and bilateral issues -- and to consolidate the progress we have made. Most important, I hope these discussions will result in recommendations to General Secretary Gorbachev and me on further steps we might take to move forward in all aspects of our relations, including the Geneva negotiations.