• Short Summary

    Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai has arrived in the Soviet Union for a six-day visit.?

  • Description

    LV Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai steps out of aircraft and is greeted by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and Premier Alexei Kosygin.

    SV Kosygin, Brezhnev and Desai pose for photos with other officials

    SV and LV Crowds waving Indian and Soviet flags as Desai reviews the Guard of Honour (2 shots)

    CU and SV Desai and Soviet officials walk past cheering crowds

    In his talk on the SALT agreement, Mr. Brezhnev said the world's foremost problem today was to stop the arms race, to prevent "a nuclear holocaust, due to the made logic of building-up of military arsenals".

    In their talks, the two leaders agreed that a bilateral 1971 friendship and co-operation treaty would remain the basis for future relations. Mr. Desai has previously emphasised a belief in "proper non-alignment" and has said he wants equal relations with United States, the Soviet Union and China.

    Initials EP/1605

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai has arrived in the Soviet Union for a six-day visit. Before his election victory earlier this year, Soviet commentators had called Mr. Desai a "reactionary", but his welcome at Moscow on Friday (21 October) indicated that Soviet leaders had softened their appraisal of India's new leader.

    SYNOPSIS: Soviet leaders were waiting to greet Mr. Desai when he flew in to Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. Among them were President Leonid Brezhnev and Premier Alexei Kosygin.

    There were none of the bear hugs which Kremlin leaders often give to foreign leaders, although Moscow reports said Mr. Desai was "warmly greeted". Before the Indian elections in March, the Soviet Union had publicly supported Mrs. Gandhi. Under her rule, India had become one of the Soviet Union's staunchest third world allies.

    Thousands of Muscovite workers were brought to the airport to wave Soviet and Indian flags. Reuters News Agency said this top-level welcome demonstrated Moscow's desire to consolidate its relations with the new Indian Government, and maintain the close links established between the two countries over the past decade.

    The two leaders were to hold talks on joint political and economic questions, but later, at a welcoming banquet for Mr. Desai, Mr. Brezhnev spoke about the Soviet-United States strategic arms limitation talks.

    He was hopeful a new agreement would be reached without what he called "undue delays".

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