Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko arrived in Rome on Thursday (26 June) for a three-day official visit.
GV Aircraft taxing
SV Gromyko off aircraft and down steps
GV Gromyko being welcomed and across tarmac (3 shots)
Initials BB/1655 EC/RN/BB/1705
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Background: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko arrived in Rome on Thursday (26 June) for a three-day official visit.
The visit's formal purpose is to maintain bilateral contacts and discuss European security in light of the forthcoming Helsinki conference. Mr. Gromyko will, in other words, be seeking Italian acceptance of Soviet proposals for the July summit to crown the work of Geneva European security conference.
However, the visit has an added significance because from 1 july it is Italy's turn to chair the Common Market Council of Ministers. The duty will be performed by Italian Foreign Minister, Signor Mariano Rumor, who greeted Mr. Gromyko at Rome airport and will be his principal partner during the visit.
During the visit Dr. Gromyko will also meet President Giovanni Leone and Pope Paul.
The visit takes place against a background of political crisis in Italy following the recent major Communist advances in the country's regional elections. No official meeting are scheduled between the Soviet Foreign Minister and Italian Communist party leaders who have long tried to protect an image of independence from Moscow.
On his arrival in Rome, Mr. Gromyko said the international and bilateral problems to be discussed were "not few".
A protocol on the environment will also be signed by the sides.