Remarks at a White House Meeting With Human Rights Advocates
The President. I have a few remarks here. I welcome this opportunity to talk with you about a most important subject of my upcoming meeting with General Secretary Gorbachev: human rights. And I know your interest in that. And with me, as you know, is Yuriy Orlov and Mrs. Orlov. Yuriy is a founding member of the independent Soviet Helsinki Monitoring Group, a man who has done more to inform the world of current Soviet human rights violations than any man on Earth -- as I said yesterday, a hero for our time. The West owes him a profound debt, both for his courage and fortitude under unspeakable conditions and for reminding us how precious are the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted.
you all know, there has been much speculation that our upcoming meeting in
meeting is not to sign agreements, but to prepare the way for a productive
summit. A real improvement in the
And again, thank you all for being here.
Reporter. Mr. President, did Mr. Orlov tell you anything of significance in your meeting just now?
The President. We have just had a few minutes together before coming in here, and we have said the things I think you would expect us to say.
Q. Did he tell you what he would like you to tell Gorbachev? [Laughter]
The President. No, he spoke of wanting to carry on the work that he was carrying on there, to continue to strive for freedom; and his goals are very much those of the people around this table already.
Note: The President spoke at in the Cabinet Room at the White House. Prior to his remarks, he met privately with Soviet dissidents Yuriy and Irina Orlov in the Oval Office.