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Thousands View Close of Moscow Youth Festival

August 3, 1985

MOSCOW (AP) _ Delegates, festival guests and specially invited Muscovites - about 100,000 people in all - filled Lenin Stadium Saturday evening for the closing ceremonies of the 12th World Youth Festival.

Seven members of the ruling Communist Party Politburo presided over the two-hour spectacle that included marching bands, ballerinas, acrobats and fireworks.

Soviet leader Mikhail s. Gorbachev, who opened the festival on July 27, was not present.

Following a speech by festival organizer Jean-Claude Kennedy, a military band played and marchers in yellow uniforms streamed onto the field carrying blue banners. They were followed by a 500-member brass and percussion band.

Dozens of young women in rainbow-hued leotards danced to a medley of rock music and members of the Bolshoi ballet performed to selections from Tchaikovsky’s ″Swan Lake″ on a stage in the center of the stadium.

Three-hundred circus artists circled the field on bicycles, tightropes and horseback while two daredevils performed hanging from a crane towering 150 feet over the field.

In the stands immediately below the huge torch that was first lit for the 1980 olympics, 9,000 people held up cards to form shifting patterns that included the festival symbol - a dove within a circle and the festival colors of blue, purple, green, red and yellow.

To cap the display, the torch flame was extinguished and Soviet soldiers set off a torrent of fireworks.

More than 20,000 foreign delegates and 10,000 guests attended the festival.

Before the final ceremonies, the festival organizing committee released a ″message to the youth and students of the world.″ It had been drafted by the committee and refined in negotiations with representatives of the delegations from 157 countries.

Members of some Western delegations said Soviet organizers wanted a formal communique, but many of the Westerners resisted and also insisted the content of the final message be politically neutral.

The document said the festival was based on a desire ″to get to know and understand each other better, and to think jointly about the possible contribution of the younger generation from different countries to solving the most urgent problems of today.. ..

″Although differences of opinion on some questions were to be expected in such a representative forum, this did not prevent us from highlighting what was most important ... the struggle for the all-round implementation of everyone’s inalienable right to live in peace and freedom,″ it added. 288

The statement noted that the festival was held while European nations, the United States and Canada marked the 10th anniversary of the Helsinki accords on security and human rights and said:

″We use the festival tribune to reiterate our adherence to the letter and spirit of the (Helsinki) final act, to the priniciples of interstate relations laid down in it.

″We call on young people in all countries, regardless of their political, philosophical and religious beliefs, to do all they can to halt the forces of militarism and aggression and to pool their efforts to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, to put an end to the nuclear and conventional arms race on earth and prevent it from being taken into outer space.″

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