No Human Rights Accord Expected to Emerge from Reagan-gorbachev Summit
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No Human Rights Accord Expected to Emerge from Reagan-gorbachev Summit

The Reagan Administration said it did not expect any agreement on human rights to emerge from the summit between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva next week.

Instead, a senior Administration official said that President Reagan will raise concerns and hope there will be some specific action following the summit. The official, briefing reporters on the summit, said there is no need for any new agreements on human rights since it is all contained in the Helsinki accords. “It’s all there, we don’t need anything further other than human rights adherence, ” he said.

Human rights is not an agenda item but will be raised by the President as Secretary of State George Shultz did in his meeting with Gorbachev in Moscow last week, the official said. He noted that Gorbachev did not say it was an internal matter but instead charged the U.S. with human rights violations.


The official said the specific concerns are increased emigration, the release of prisoners and allowing them to emigrate, and the need for the Soviet Union to be a more open society.

However, the official said the “only signal” so far from the Soviet Union was the permission granted to Yelena Bonner, wife of Andrei Sakharov to go to the West for medical treatment and to return.

The official stressed that the U.S. is not going to negotiate on a “tit for tat basis — X number of people (are allowed to leave) we do this, Y number of people we do that.” Instead, he said the U.S. will present its concerns and “see whether we can get some sort of response from them and then there might be responses from our part.”

The official noted that the Soviets know that the Jackson-Vanik Amendment provides that if the President determines emigration from the USSR has improved, then the U.S. can provide the Soviet Union with Most Favored Nation trade benefits and other exchanges.

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