Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on Arms Reductions

October 22, 1986

In his address to the Soviet people today, General Secretary Gorbachev expressed optimism about arms reductions and characterized the Reykjavik meeting as an important political event. We believe an historic breakthrough occurred in Reykjavik, and there is no turning back. For the first time, there is serious discussion of arms reductions rather than arms control.

The United States has reentered the nuclear and space talks in Geneva with renewed dedication and optimism for the goal of achieving agreements on significant nuclear arms reductions. The United States has made clear its intention to place all of the proposals made in Iceland on the negotiating table in Geneva. We are pleased that General Secretary Gorbachev also stated the Soviet desire to move forward from where the two sides left off at Reykjavik. Much hard work remains, but we are ready to get on with it.