Joint Statement on
Soviet-United States Relations
September 23, 1988
from the agreed goal of continued development of the U.S.-Soviet dialogue,
Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Foreign Minister Eduard
A. Shevardnadze met September 22 - 23, 1988, in Washington for further discussions
on the full range of arms control and disarmament, human rights and
humanitarian, regional and bilateral issues in U.S.-Soviet relations. The
Foreign Minister called on President Reagan at the White House, where they
considered the state of relations. He also met with Vice President Bush.
the two days of detailed and frank discussions, the sides thoroughly reviewed
progress in implementing the agreements and understandings reached by President
Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at the Washington and Moscow summits. They noted
that, although important differences remain on certain issues, both sides are
convinced that solutions are possible. The record of achievement since the
November 1985 summit in Geneva attests to this: goals
that seemed impossible have been reached, and other important goals have been
brought within sight. Continuity of effort, consistency of purpose, and
commitment to a process of candid dialogue aimed at finding practical and
enduring solutions to problems will be as indispensable in the months and years
ahead as they have been over the last three years.
this end, Secretary Shultz and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze agreed that the
negotiators and experts of the two sides will continue to seek progress across
the agenda set forth by President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev in
their Joint Statements from the Washington and Moscow summits. These
statements comprise a detailed and concrete program of action for building a
more stable and sustainable relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, and for contributing,
with other nations, to a world at peace.
Secretary and the Foreign Minister noted the active and serious effort underway
to resolve outstanding issues in the Geneva nuclear and space
talks. They received updated joint draft texts of a Treaty on the reduction and
limitation of strategic offensive arms and its associated documents. They
welcomed the further elaboration since the Moscow summit of these drafts.
The sides discussed a range of issues including air-launched cruise missiles
and the problem of verification of mobile ICBMs and SLCMs.
Some further progress was achieved in the first two areas.
Secretary and the Foreign Minister also reviewed the negotiations to work out a
separate agreement concerning the ABM Treaty, in accordance with the joint
statements issued at the Washington and Moscow summits. They noted
certain progress achieved in the preparation of an associated protocol during
the current round of negotiations in Geneva. They instructed their
negotiators to intensify their efforts in preparing the Joint Draft Texts of
the separate agreement and its associated protocol. They also agreed to
continue discussion concerning space-based sensors.
Secretary and the Foreign Minister instructed the delegations in Geneva to continue intensive
work aimed at the ultimate completion of the agreements being negotiated in the
nuclear and space talks.
sides discussed concerns that both of them have in connection with the
observance of the ABM Treaty. Discussions on these matters will be continued.
Secretary and the Foreign Minister noted with great satisfaction that since the
Moscow summit, both sides have
begun the process of eliminating INF missile systems in accordance with the INF
Secretary and the Foreign Minister welcomed completion of the Joint
Verification Experiment (JVE) at the nuclear test sites of the U.S. and the USSR, which demonstrated an
unprecedented degree of cooperation and openness on verification of nuclear
testing limitations. They directed negotiators to finish the new verification
protocol for the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty, which is nearly complete,
and the new verification protocol to the Threshold Test Ban Treaty. They agreed
to work for the earliest submission of these documents for ratification, and to
continue stage-by-stage negotiations toward the objectives specified by the
leaders at the Washington and Moscow summits.
sides reaffirmed the objective of concluding as soon as possible a global
convention on the comprehensive prohibition and destruction of chemical
weapons, encompassing all CW-capable states. In reviewing progress toward this
goal, the sides exchanged views on such issues as laboratory synthesis of super
toxic chemicals for medical and research purposes, bilateral data exchanges and
other confidence-building measures. They agreed that the tenth round of
U.S.-Soviet bilateral consultations on chemical weapons will take place in Geneva from November
29-December 15. The sides expressed deep concern about the recurrent use of
chemical weapons, in particular against civilian populations. They shared the
view that the expanding proliferation and use of chemical weapons continue to
impart a sense of urgency to their discussions and highlight the absolute
necessity of negotiating an effective and verifiable CW ban. They reaffirmed
their support for the role of the UN Secretary-General in carrying out prompt
investigations in order to ascertain the facts of such use. They further agreed
that U.S. and Soviet experts
would meet on December 16, 1988, for a new round of
talks on measures to halt the proliferation of chemical weapons.
sides also stated their serious concern about the proliferation of ballistic
missile technology and announced that, pursuant to the Moscow summit joint statement,
U.S. and Soviet experts will
meet on September 26 in Washington to discuss this growing
sides held a thorough discussion of both progress to date and continuing
problems in the area of human rights and humanitarian issues. The Secretary and
the Foreign Minister underscored the value of regular bilateral discussions on
these issues and the need further to develop constructive dialogue.
Secretary and the Foreign Minister expressed the special importance their
governments attach to achieving promptly a balanced conclusion to the Vienna
Follow-Up Meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
(CSCE), and called on all participating states to work intensively toward this
end. They reaffirmed the necessity of an outcome at Vienna which encompasses
significant results in all of the principal areas of the Helsinki Final Act and
the Madrid Concluding Document and which further strengthens the CSCE process.
The Secretary and the Foreign Minister also stressed the importance of the
ongoing effort with other states to resolve remaining issues on a mandate in
order to begin as soon as possible a new negotiation with the objective of
enhancing stability and security in the whole of Europe at lower levels of
armed forces and conventional armaments.
Secretary and the Foreign Minister considered regional issues including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Central America, the Iran-Iraq War, the
Korean peninsula, the Middle East, and southern Africa. They affirmed the
importance of the Geneva accords on Afghanistan. They also noted
encouraging trends in the search for political solutions to several longrunning regional conflicts; in some cases, existing
negotiating efforts have found new vigor, and in others new efforts have
emerged. They agreed that the process of a settlement in southwestern Africa is currently at a
crucial stage, and noted the importance of sustaining the momentum toward
solutions of the problems of Angola and early independence
for Namibia in accordance with UN
Security Council Resolution 435.
Secretary and the Foreign Minister welcomed the increasingly active
contribution of the United Nations to regional conflict resolution, especially
the effort to achieve a durable settlement of the Iran-Iraq war. They also
favored further efforts aimed at bringing peace to Cambodia. They agreed that U.S. and Soviet experts
would continue to meet as appropriate to support the search for peaceful
solutions to regional conflicts.
two sides welcomed the continued development of bilateral cooperation and
interchange as set forth in the Moscow summit joint statement,
as well as further development of contacts among defense and military
officials. They strongly believe that expansion of bilateral ties on the basis
of mutual benefit is in the interests of both sides. The Secretary and the
Foreign Minister exchanged views on prospects for developing trade and economic
relations, and reiterated the goals set forth in this field in the Moscow summit joint statement.