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Soviet Foreign Minister Says Gorbachev Will Seek Missiles Pact

October 5, 1986

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze said Saturday his government will seek an agreement on medium-range missiles when President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet next weekend.

″It’s very difficult to say what we want″ from the Oct. 11-12 Iceland meeting because there is no fixed agenda, Shevardnadze said at an evening news conference.

He added, however, that the Soviets would bring a series of proposals asking ″many concessions,″ among them on medium-range missiles.

Shevardnadze also said the Reagan administration’s charges of a Soviet military presence in Nicaragua were ″laughable″ and that there were no plans to send troops or military advisers to the Central American country.

His comments came during the second day of a three-day official visit, the first by a high Soviet official to Mexico since Anastas Mikoyan, vice president of the Council of Ministers, visited in 1959.

″Everything will be done to produce results″ at the summit, said Shevardnadze.

Before the news conference, he placed a large yellow-and-white flower wreath with the Soviet flag in the center at the Monument to the Child Heroes. The monument is dedicated to young Mexicans killed in an 1847 U.S. attack during the Mexican-American War.

Shevardnadze then walked over to spectators and chatted with them through his interpreter.

At the news conference, reporters asked about a fire aboard a Soviet nuclear-powered submarine about 520 miles off Bermuda.

Shevardnadze answered that he had ″no details beyond what we all know already″ and read a statement saying that three people had died aboard the submarine in Friday’s fire and that there were ″some injuries.″

It said appropriate international agencies had been informed of the fire in accordance with treaties.

In opening remarks, Shevardnadze criticized Washington for backing rebels trying to oust Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government, and denied the Soviet Union has sent military advisers or other military personnel there.

″The attempts to justify the attitude of the United States toward Nicaragua through the mythical military presence of the Soviet Union in this country (Nicaragua) are laughable,″ Shevardnardze said.

″I can say in all responsibility - in Nicaragua there has not been, nor is there, any Soviet military presence.″

Earlier in the day, he had breakfast with leaders of the Mexican Senate and visited the headquarters of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Shevardnadze, at a dinner in his honor after meetings Friday with President Miguel de la Madrid and Foreign Minister Bernardo Sepulveda, emphasized the importance of the Reagan-Gorbachev meeting.

″However much the enemies of easing tension try to divert attention from this event, it is the most important in international life,″ he said. ″And the central theme of the agenda continues to be obtaining practical results in the sphere of nuclear and cosmic armament.″

He praised Mexico’s role in promoting disarmament and called for cooperation between Mexico and the Soviet Union on security in the Pacific basin.

″It seems to us also that in this matter our collaboration with Mexico could be useful,″ he said. ″It could respond to the interests of strengthening international stability.″

Mexico is a member of the Group of Six, which in August offered to help monitor any U.S.-Soviet nuclear test ban agreement. It also initiated the Treaty of Tlatelolco, a nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The other members are Argentina, Greece, Sweden, India and Tanzania.

Shevardnadze said that to create the economic base to end widespread poverty in the world, ″the only only real route that exists, the fairest and most rational, is that of reduction of the arms race, to transfer the means that are freed to the most impoverished nations.″

Shevardnadze also advocated increased trade between his country and Mexico.

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