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Middle East Not on Agenda of Bush-shev Ardnadze Talks

President Bush and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze discussed a wide range of issues during a 90-minute meeting at the White House on Thursday, but the Middle East was not one of them.

“The Middle East was mentioned, but we didn’t have time to get into that in detail,” Secretary of State James Baker, who was also at the meeting, said afterward during a briefing for reporters.

Baker, who was flying with Shevardnadze on Thursday night to Jackson Hole, Wyo., for two days of talks, said he hoped to discuss the Middle East there.

He said the two regional issues specifically discussed at the White House were Nicaragua and Afghanistan.

Both Baker and Shevardnadze, who spoke separately with reporters, made clear that the major issue discussed was arms control. Baker said human rights was discussed, but gave no details.

Baker and Shevardnadze also said they would discuss the “general time frame” for a summit meeting between Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Neither would give any hint of when it would come or where it would be held, although Baker indicated the meeting should be in the United States. “I think it is our turn,” he said.

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