July 25, 1986

President Reagan, on July 25, 1986, responded to recent Soviet arms control proposals in a private letter to General Secretary Gorbachev. The President is hopeful that the ideas he has put forward in this letter will continue the process of building a firm basis for progress in a number of critical areas.

The President finds his exchange of correspondence with General Secretary Gorbachev to be of great value in the search for understanding between our two countries. We hope that our efforts will produce agreement not only in arms control but in the other important regional and bilateral issues that too often are sources of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. It is our policy to eliminate, where possible, these sources of tension.

The United States remains committed to the objective of significant reductions on offensive nuclear weapons, long-range strategic missiles, and intermediate nuclear forces. We look upon the energetic research effort of our government toward finding a defense against these weapons of mass destruction to be an essential part of the task of reducing the effectiveness and the very need for these offensive weapons. The prospects for progress on the array of U.S.-Soviet issues are enhanced by conducting a confidential dialog; therefore, we will not comment on the content of the President's letter.