clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the two leaders discussed the Middle East, Cuba, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, El Salvador, India and Pakistan. He said the two had a better understanding of each country's positions but that no decisions resulting in a policy change were made.

He said Bush commended Gorbachev for improvements in human rights in the Soviet Union and an increase in the number of Jews permitted to emigrate. Both men vowed to work against anti-Semitism.

Wearing business clothes, President Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev arrived at the presidential mountaintop retreat looking ready to work, not relax.

But they took off their coats and ties when they sat out on the terrace of Aspen Lodge to talk.

There were 27 people who flew here from Washington Saturday morning on four helicopters. But it was just Gorbachev and his wife, Raisa; Bush and his wife, Barbara; Secretary of State James Baker; Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze; a Soviet note taker national security adviser Brent Scowcroft; and translators who spent the day together.

Gorbachev drove Bush around in a golf cart for a 10-minute tour of Camp David. The two leaders pitched some horseshoes for a few minutes. A spokesman diplomatically said, "From where I stood, they all looked like ringers to me."

Mrs. Gorbachev and Mrs. Bush, who brought her needlepoint, had no special plans. Both wore high heels and silk suit dresses but changed into informal clothes later.

Camp David, a 90-minute drive from the White House but only a 20-minute helicopter ride, is maintained by Navy personnel. Since President Franklin Roosevelt acquired it in 1942 as a "Shangri La," U.S. presidents have hosted 30 heads of state here.

Fitzwater said Bush wanted to bring Gorbachev here to talk because there are no distractions - "no staff, guards, press, congressmen and all those kinds of things. It's a very tranquil kind of setting. It is easy to relax . . . a living room atmosphere."

Saturday night the Bushes hosted a salmon dinner for 33 members of the two delegations. Besides the first ladies, only one other woman attended, Condolezza Rice, Bush's expert on Soviet affairs.

The Gorbachevs and Bushes returned to Washington to sleep. After a joint press conference at the White House Sunday, during which they are to announce that Bush will go to Moscow late this year, Gorbachev travels to Minneapolis and San Francisco.