Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the President's Meeting With Pope John Paul II

May 2, 1984

In his meeting today with Pope John Paul II, the President discussed his trip to China and the Holy Father's forthcoming visit to Korea. The two engaged in an exchange of views on arms control, East-West relations, regional and humanitarian issues.

The President offered to send a Presidential mission to Rome to discuss economic development and humanitarian assistance with Vatican officials. The mission would explain U.S. foreign assistance and economic and humanitarian programs. In turn, the Vatican would brief the mission on its development and humanitarian activities throughout the world. The goal of the Presidential mission would be to begin a dialog that could lead to U.S.-Vatican cooperation in the effort to alleviate hunger and disease and to promote peace worldwide.

Note: Following the Pope's arrival at Fairbanks International Airport, AK, he and the President met, together with U.S. and Vatican officials, in the airport terminal.