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Vance Says Summit Agreement on ICBM’s Unlikely

November 8, 1987

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance was quoted as saying Sunday it was unlikely that an agreement on cutting intercontinental weapons by up to 50 percent could be part of the U.S.-Soviet summit next month.

He told the Malaysian national news agency Bernama that the two sides had hammered out their differences on intermediate-range nuclear weapons, leaving some minor points that should be cleared up by the Dec. 7 summit.

But on intercontinental weapons, the agency quoted Vance as saying, ″It is in my best judgment that it would be impossible to reach an agreement on that issue at the summit. The parties are very far apart on the question of Strategic Defense Initiative.″

SDI, popularly called ″Star Wars,″ is a project for a space-based U.S. missile defense system.

Vance said it would be difficult to bridge the differences before President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet, Bernama reported.

″Indeed, I think, it is questionable whether they can bridge those differences in the remaining 15 months of the Reagan administration,″ he was quoted as saying.

He said it was possible, however, that they might reach an agreement in principle on a 50 percent reduction of intercontinental weapons along the lines of the Vladivostok agreement reached during the Ford administration, Bernama said.

Vance also was quoted as saying Southeast Asia would remain a high priority for the United States.

″I don’t have any doubt about that as the U.S. had been among the first to embrace the formation of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations),″ he said, according to Bernama.

The ASEAN countries are Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

The agency quoted Vance, secretary of state under President Jimmy Carter, as saying he was confident U.S. air and naval bases in the Philippines would remain and a satisfactory solution could be worked out with President Corazon Aquino’s government.

Vance left for Hong Kong Sunday from Kota Kinabalu, 910 miles east of Kuala Lumpur. He had attended the four-day, closed-door Williamsburgh Conference, organized jointly by the New York-based Asia Society and the Malaysian Institute of Strategic and International Studies.

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