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BAKER-SHEVARDNADZE TALKS IN APRIL

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Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze will hold his next round of talks with Secretary of State James Baker in Washington April 4-6, U.S. officials say.

An official announcement is expected by the end of the week.The session is designed primarily to prepare for the summit meeting Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev will hold here with President Bush in the second half of June. The precise date has not been set.

Marlin Fitzwater said the meeting might be moved up to earlier in June to accommodate the Soviets, who are expected to hold a major Communist Party session in late June.

Baker went to Moscow last month to see Gorbachev and Shevardnadze. The trip produced a narrowing of differences on a strategic arms reduction treaty the two leaders would like to sign at the summit.

And, the two sides moved closer on provisions for agreements also being negotiated with other nations to ban chemical weapons production and to reduce troops, tanks and other non-nuclear arms in Europe.

Baker is making arrangements for a meeting with the 15 NATO foreign ministers, probably in Brussels, after the Shevardnadze visit, the officials said.