HC Deb 26 March 1985 vol 76 cc112-3W
Q115. Mr. Latham

asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement on her recent visit to Moscow to attend the funeral of the late Mr. K. Chernenko.

The Prime Minister

Accompanied by my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary, I attended the funeral of the late President Chernenko on 13 March. After the ceremonies, I made a call on the new General Secretary, Mr. Gorbachev, and had a good and useful discussion which lasted a little under an hour. While I was in Moscow I was able to have meetings with President Zia, President Machel, Vice President Bush and Secretary Shultz, Prime Minister Mulroney, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Prime Minister Gonzalez.

In my talks with Mr. Gorbachev I stressed the hope of the Government and people of the United Kingdom that the Geneva arms talks would be successful and result in increased security at a lower level of weapons. Mr. Gorbachev raised the question of the American strategic defence initiative. I drew his attention to the significance of the four points which I had agreed with President Reagan at Camp David in December, and which were reaffirmed during my visit to Washington in February.

We touched briefly on relations between our two countries and agreed that we should develop contacts in a wide variety of fields so that we could achieve a better understanding and thus contribute towards an improvement in East-West relations.