Informal Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze

 

September 15, 1987

 

Q. Mr. President, has any progress been made today in these talks?

 

The President. We're just beginning.

 

Q. Do you think there will be a summit meeting as a result of this meeting?

 

The President. I'm not going to answer.

 

Q. Did you get a letter from the Foreign Minister?

 

The President. No. I understand he is delivering me a letter.

 

Q. Mr. Foreign Minister, can you tell us what's in the letter?

 

Mr. Shevardnadze. Well, if I tell you, what shall I tell the President? [Laughter]

 

Q. The same thing. [Laughter]

 

Mr. Shevardnadze. There are good things in that letter.

 

Q. Like what?

 

Q. Is there a summit date in that letter, Mr. Foreign Minister?

 

Mr. Shevardnadze. No date, but a summit is necessary.

 

Q. Are you predicting there will be one?

 

Mr. Shevardnadze. Well, I would like to talk to you, maybe, after my meeting with the President.

 

Note: The exchange began at 12:10 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. During their meeting, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze gave the President a letter from General Secretary Gorbachev. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.