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Public Papers - 1989 - December

Exchange With Reporters on the Meetings With Soviet Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev in Malta

1989-12-03

Q. Was this a bad idea, Mr. President?

The President. What?

Q. A shipboard summit.

The President. No, it was a very good idea.

Q. But half your meetings were rained out.

Q. Glad the Soviets brought a big boat stable enough to have the summit on?

The President. No, we could have floated the Holiday Inn out there to do it on.

The Chairman. This whole incident shows that we can adjust to changing circumstances very well.

The President. That's right.

Q. Mr. President, what do you think about central Europe?

The President. Which President are you speaking to? [Laughter]

Q. It's a special question about Austria.

The Chairman. I can tell you that we'll have an important discussion, including a discussion of that theme, too. I promise that after we complete our talks, we'll talk to the press.

The President. That's a good idea.

Note: The exchange began at 10:03 a.m., as the President arrived aboard the Soviet passenger liner ``Maxim Gorky'' in Marsaxlokk Harbor for his final meeting with Chairman Gorbachev. The Chairman spoke in Russian, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter. A tape was not available for verification of the contents of the remarks.

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