July 5, 1984



The official Response to the Soviet Proposal of May 29. I have authorized the following response to the Soviet proposal made on ay 29, 1984.

"The United States Government has taken note of the statement by the Soviet government proposing a meeting of delegations in September to begin negotiations on preventing the 'militarization of outer space.' The militarization of space began when the ballistic missiles were tested and when such missiles and other weapons systems using outer space began to be deployed. The United States Government, therefore, draws attention to the pressing need for the resumption of negotiations aimed at a radical reduction of nuclear arsenals on a balanced and verified basis."

"Therefore, the United States Government has informed the government of the Soviet Union that it is prepared to meet the Soviet Union in September at any location agreeable to the Soviet Union and to the government of the country where the meeting is held for the following purposes:

  1. to discuss and define mutually agreeable arrangements under which negotiations on the reduction of strategic and intermediate-range nuclear weapons can be resumed; and

  2. to discuss and seek agreement on feasible negotiating approaches, which could lead to verifiable and effective limitations on anti-satellite weapons.

We will also be prepared to discuss any other arms control concerns or other matters of interest to both sides."

"We will continue contacts with the Soviet Union through diplomatic channels on arrangements for these September talks."

Implementation. The U.S. will be prepared to begin discussions in Vienna on September 18, 1984. However, the date and location is of less importance than our agreement to begin well prepared and serious discussions. The U.S. agrees to the discussions proposed without preconditions, but based on a commitment by both sides to find mutually acceptable negotiating approaches to the important questions before both the United States and the Soviet Union.

We should attempt to shift the continuing discussion between the U.S. and the Soviet Union concerning these talks out of the public arena and into private diplomatic channels. To do this, we should seek Soviet agreement to join us in refraining from further public comment.

Preparations for Discussions. No matter what the initial Soviet response, the United States will be prepared to begin the discussions as outlined above on the dates initially proposed by the Soviet Union.