Security Tight Everywhere, But Tightest of All for Reagan With PM-Summit Rdp Bjt
GENEVA (AP) _ Security precautions contrasted sharply at separate but nearly identical formal welcoming ceremonies for summit negotiating partners Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
The ceremonies were held outside an 18th century villa overlooking Lake Geneva on Monday. Reporters were not permitted near the spot where Reagan was to stand, and shortly before he arrived they were herded into a pen formed by metal crowd control barricades.
Secret Service agents and Swiss security men watched closely to make sure they remained there during the outside portion of the ceremony.
Security eased considerably as Reagan departed, and during the one-hour wait before Gorbachev arrived reporters were free to roam the area.
Most reporters were in the same pen when the Soviet Communist Party general secretary arrived, but Soviet correspondents headed out onto the platform and security men made no move to detain them.
The cold took its toll on the 62-man honor guard waiting at attention to greet Reagan when he arrived at the site of the formal Swiss welcoming ceremony.
Shortly before the president arrived, one soldier collapsed and was hustled away on a stretcher.
″He’s okay, he just fainted from the cold,″ one of the stretcher bearers said later.
After the man collapsed, the soldiers, all gloveless, were put at ease and permitted to shake their hands for about 30 seconds.
Ranks were closed up and the soldiers were back at attention by the time the president arrived.
Officials at the Geneva airport said the temperature was 27 degrees but a wind whipping off Lake Geneva made it feel even colder.
The only two announced stops on Gorbachev’s itinerary are at two private mansions that stand as monuments to the fruits of Swiss capitalism.
Gorbachev visited one, La Reposoir, a peach-colored sandstone villa on a hill overlooking Lake Geneva, on Monday for the formal welcome by Swiss confederation President Kurt Furgler.
La Reposoir is normally used as a summer home by the Pictet family, one of Geneva’s oldest banking families. It was loaned to the Swiss government for the occasion.
Gorbachev was to spend most of today with President Reagan at another mansion, the villa Fleur d’Eau, site of the first round of summit talks. The home is owned by Geneva real estate entrepreneur Albert Ohayon, who bought it from a Swiss industrialist, Gregoire Salmanowitz, for $7.5 million.