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Public Papers - 1991 - July

Exchange With Reporters on START Negotiations and Possible Soviet-United States Summit

1991-07-08

Q. Mr. President, does it look like you're still going to be going to Moscow at the end of the month?

The President. Well, a lot depends on this meeting that's coming up between the Secretary of State, Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh and Moiseyev -- General Moiseyev. And I've said before that what we want to do is to have a summit meeting with the Soviets. I've also said that I want this START agreement completed. And their coming in here is a good move; it was in response to an appeal I made to President Gorbachev.

So, it's a good thing that they're coming. And the time -- there's plenty of time to get this done so we can have a meeting at the end of July. But whether these last difficulties can be ironed out, we just don't know. But this should be seen as a good sign, whether we get it completed in time for a July summit or not. And I'll have a chance to talk to Gorbachev in London a week from -- well, it's in a few days, 8 days or 9 days.

Q. In other words, Mr. President, you want performance not conversation?

The President. He's got it. Walter, you summed it up far better than -- [laughter]. Thank you for that helpful -- [laughter].

Thank you all very much.

Note: The exchange began at 10:05 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House prior to a meeting with the New American Schools Development Corporation Board. The President referred to the Chief of the Soviet General Staff Mikhail A. Moiseyev and Walter H. Annenberg, a director of the New American Schools Development Corporation Board.

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