United States Secretary of State William Rogers and the Soviet Unions Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko held a three hour meeting in New York on Monday (22 September).
Rogers and gromyko posing for photographers; Gromyko making brief statement to reporters and departing.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: United States Secretary of State William Rogers and the Soviet Unions Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko held a three hour meeting in New York on Monday (22 September).
During the working dinner, held in Rogers hotel suite, Mr. Gromyko informed Secretary Rogers that the Soviet Union was still not ready to begin talks on strategic weapons limitations. The Soviet Minister promised Rogers, however, that his government would indicate the time and place for preliminary talks soon."
U.S. officials doubt that Gromyko's "soon" means an answer before early October - when Rogers leaves the U.N. General Assembly session. But they still expect a reply will come in a matter of weeks rather than months.
U.S. State department officials said the term "preliminary talks" meant discussion of the methods of conducting the talks: agenda, use of interpreters, place and time. While the indicated satisfaction with Gromyko's promise, they also expressed disappointment over the delay in getting the talks started.
Following the meeting neither Gromyko nor Rogers would claim progress on issues like the Middle East, Germany, and Berlin. Both agreed, however, that the talks were "generally useful". Gromyko joked to reporters before leaving that they would probably not believe him when he said nuclear disarmament talks were not discussed.
The two diplomats will meet again on Friday, with Gromyko acting as host.