Toasts at a State Dinner
Hosted by the President at Spaso House in
The President. Mr. General Secretary,
Mrs. Gorbachev, distinguished guests and friends, it's a pleasure to host all
of you tonight and to reciprocate, in a small way, the hospitality you lavished
upon us yesterday evening. While the General Secretary and I had already held
three meetings before this one began here in
a particular pleasure to be able to welcome you to Spaso
House -- a house of considerable beauty in its own right -- the residence of
our Ambassadors to the
Mr. General Secretary, we know that on matters of great importance we will continue to differ profoundly, and yet you and I have met four times now, more often than any previous President and General Secretary. While our discussions have sometimes been pointed or contentious, we possess an enlarged understanding of each other and of each other's country. On specific matters of policy, we have made progress, often historic progress. And perhaps most important, we have committed our nations to continuing to work together, agreeing that silence must never again be permitted to fall between us. We have agreed always to continue the interchanges between our nations because, I believe, we both hear the same voice, the same overwhelming imperative. What that voice says can be expressed in many ways. But I have found it in vivid form in Pasternak's poem ``The Garden of Gethsemane.'' Listen, if you will, to Pasternak's account of that famous arrest:
``There appeared -- no one knew from where -- a crowd of slaves and a rabble of knaves, with lights and swords and, leading them, Judas with a traitor's kiss on his lips.
``Peter repulsed the ruffians with his sword and cut off the ear of one of them. But he heard: `You cannot decide a dispute with weapons; put your sword in its place, O man.'''
That's the voice. ``Put your sword in its place, O man.'' That is the imperative, the command. And so, we will work together that we might forever keep our swords at our sides.
Mr. General Secretary, ladies and gentlemen, Spaso House has, as I said, seen quiet times, yet the animated conversation of this evening has already done much to make up for them. And so, I would like to raise a glass to the continued interchange between our two nations and, if I may, to Spaso House itself, as a symbol of our relations. May this lovely home never lack for visitors and shared meals and the sounds of spirited conversation and even the peal of hearty laughter. Thank you, and God bless you. And to the General Secretary, to Mrs. Gorbachev, to the relationship that I believe must continue.
The General Secretary. Esteemed Mr. President, esteemed Mrs. Reagan, ladies and gentlemen, comrades: I thank you, Mr. President for the words of greeting you just addressed to us.
great nations have given the two of us a mandate to determine what
Soviet-American relations should be like. Since our first meeting in
visit by a President of the
But world developments in their main tendency are turning toward a search for political solutions, toward cooperation and peace. We are, all of us, witnesses to momentous changes, though a lot still has to be done to achieve irreversible change. Although everything urges cooperation and trust, prejudices and stereotypes are still with us, as is rivalry, above all in the military sphere. A great deal has been said at this meeting, too, about how pointless and catastrophic it is. More importantly, we can register some headway toward better mutual understanding in this area as well.
Today, I would like to address another major world problem: the situation in the developing world, which cannot but affect our countries, too. The problems which the developing countries face have turned out to be difficult [to] the point of tragedy. Glaring backwardness, hunger, poverty, and mass diseases continue to beset entire nations. An incredibly high debt has become an excruciating and universal problem. It would seem that everybody can see its complexity, involving as it does extremely diverse and truly vital interests, and understand that a way out must be solved.
believe that if the international community and, above all, the great powers
are to be of any help the starting point and the essential thing is to
recognize unconditionally the freedom of choice. We are insisting on fairness.
We have seriously studied the economic system in developing nations, and I am
convinced that a way out is possible along the lines of a radical restructuring
of the entire system of world economic relations, without any discrimination
for political reasons. This would promote a political settlement of regional
conflicts which not only impede progress in that part of the world but also
cause turmoil in the entire world situation. With such an approach, our
differences as to what kind of a future awaits the
Turning now to our bilateral relations, we envision there opportunities and prospects primarily in light of internal evolution in both countries, but also in the context of world developments. Many Americans who are studying us and who have visited the U.S.S.R., and now, I hope, those present here as well, have been able to see for themselves the sweeping scope of change in our country. It is based on comprehensive democratization and radical economic reform. I'm gratified to note that today the President and I have had an in-depth exchange of views on this subject. We have also discussed our perestroika a number of times with other Americans. This is all to the good. It, too, is a sign of change in our relationship.
for our part, are trying to closely follow the profound trends in the
another thing, whatever the ups and downs of our dialog with
and American people want to live in peace and communicate in all areas in which
they have a mutual interest. The interest is there, and it is growing. We feel
no fear. We are not prejudiced. We believe in the value of communication. I see
a future in which the
May the years to come bring a healthier international environment. May life be triumphant. To the very good health of the President, to the very good health of Mrs. Nancy Reagan, to cooperation between our two peoples.
Note: The President spoke at in the Chandelier Room at the Ambassador's residence. The President spoke in English, and the General Secretary spoke in Russian. Their remarks were translated by interpreters.