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Gorbachev Rails at U.S., Backs Off
[Late Final Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley||||||Eaton, William J
Date: Oct 4, 1985
Start Page: 1
Section: 1; Late Final Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Francois Mitterrand] rejected [Mikhail S. Gorbachev]'s surprise proposal, which came in a speech to a French parliamentary committee Thursday, that the Soviet Union and France begin negotiations for a limitation of the size of the French nuclear arsenal. The Soviet leader said he was making the same proposal to Britain.

After the rebuff, Mitterrand gave Gorbachev what was probably a far more important dividend. The French president gave significant support to the policies of Gorbachev by agreeing that there can be no settlement for substantial disarmament unless President [Reagan]'s "Star Wars" project is abandoned.

Support from France against Star Wars had obviously been a major aim of the four-day visit by Gorbachev. Mitterrand has never hidden his distaste for the Reagan defense plan-officially called the Strategic Defense Initiative-of arming satellites in space so that they can shoot down nuclear missiles. Despite this, he refused a Soviet suggestion that he sign a joint communique on the issue.

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