298. National Security Decision Directive 2451


I have agreed to meet with General Secretary Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, October 11–12 in an effort to accelerate progress in resolving issues in our relations with the Soviet Union. I expect the meetings to be very private and plan to take only a minimal support staff with me. The discussions will be serious and business-like and social functions will be conducted at the minimal level appropriate to the occasion. (S)

It is imperative for all U.S. Government officials to adhere totally to the press guidance established by my own statements and those approved by the State Department and the White House. No official is authorized to originate public statements regarding the Reykjavik meeting, or to provide comments in background briefings that go beyond statements made publicly by the White House or Department of State. All written remarks concerning U.S.-Soviet relations must be approved in advance by the White House or the Department of State. Should public statements or background briefings by other U.S. Government officials on particular aspects of U.S.-Soviet relations seem desirable, they may be undertaken only with the specific approval of the White House. Requests should be submitted through the Operations Coordinating Committee of the NSC. (S)

In going to Iceland, the United States demonstrates to the world that we are prepared to exert every effort to establish a constructive and serious dialogue with the Soviet leadership. I wish to stress however, that I do not anticipate signing any agreements in Reykjavik. (S)


My objective for this meeting is to increase the likelihood that the coming Summit in the United States will be productive by:

—Demonstrating my commitment to solving problems in the U.S.-Soviet relationship, to the degree the Soviets are willing.

—Identifying issues with reasonable prospects of solution, and accelerating efforts to resolve them. I will press the General Secretary [Page 1265] to agree to acceptable approaches to outstanding key issues in order to intensify ongoing negotiations.

—Engaging the Soviets in substantive and serious discussions on the entire range of issues on the US agenda. I will not permit the meeting to focus exclusively or disproportionately on arms control, and I will ensure that regional, bilateral and human rights issues are thoroughly reviewed.

—Demonstrating to our Allies and to the American public that the policy we have pursued toward the Soviet Union—based upon realism, strength, and dialogue—has created the potential for effective negotiations with the Soviet Union. I will, of course, continue to avoid preemptive or one-sided concessions and steadfastly resist Soviet pressures and threats. (S)

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC National Security Decision Directives, NSDD 245 [Reagan-Gorbachev Preparatory Meeting]. Secret. Printed from an unsigned copy.