President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Macmillan left the Elysee Palace, Paris, in the afternoon, May 17, at the end of a two-hour meeting with President de Gaulle, which was not attended by Soviet Premier Khrushchev, despite a clear invitation.
SV Ike down steps and into car.
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SV Macmillan with Debre on steps.
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Background: President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Macmillan left the Elysee Palace, Paris, in the afternoon, May 17, at the end of a two-hour meeting with President de Gaulle, which was not attended by Soviet Premier Khrushchev, despite a clear invitation.
While the three western leaders and their Foreign Ministers held a last western morning meeting at the Elysee Palace, the Soviet Premier - having reiterated his conditions for a Summit conference - drove with his Defence Minister, Marshall Malinovsky, to Sezanne in the Marne department, where the Marshal was stationed with the Russian Expeditionary Force in 1919. When he was handed an invitation here for an afternoon Summit meeting proper, Khrushchev hurried back to the Soviet Embassy in the capital.
As the western leaders arrived for the suggested meeting - at 2.55 p.m, five minutes before the appointed time - they received a telephone call from the Soviet Embassy, enquiring if the proposed meeting was a preliminary one, to continue the previous day's discussions about the U-2 incident, or a Summit meeting. Khrushchev asked for a preliminary meeting to be postponed until 5 pm, and stated that he would not attend a Summit proper since his "conditions" had not been met.
In the space of the following two hours, there were further telephonic exchanges, while the western leaders proceeded with the meeting. Khrushchev refused to reply to the invitation in writing and insisted on an answer to his question regarding the fulfilment of his "conditions".
At 4.40 pm, General de Gaulle issued a statement from the Elysee, formally marking the end of any hopes for a four-Power Summit meeting. Outlining the situation and noting the absence of Mr. Khrushchev, the statement ended: "In these conditions, the discussions which had been foreseen could not take place."