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25th anniversary of disarmament summit

Twenty five years ago the leaders of American and Russia came close to agreeing to eliminate their entire stockpliles of thousands of nuclear weapons. The talks between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, at Rejkjavik on 11/12 October 1986, only broke down because of resistance from within their own military establishments.


Mikhail Gorbachev was quoted on 10 October 2011 as saying:


“The next few years may well determine if our shared dream of ridding the world of nuclear weapons will ever be realised”. (1)


George Schultz, who accompanied Reagan at Rejkjavik, will join other international figures in a new call for disarmament tomorrow (Tuesday). Schultz was quoted as saying that the sceptics who say nuclear disarmament is impossible “are wrong”. (2)


John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND, said:


“In 1986 Reagan and Gorbachev failed to take advantage of the opportunity to achieve nuclear disarmament. Today Britain could lead the way. We could scrap Trident and show the world that disarmament is possible. We shouldn’t let this second chance slip away.”


A new analysis has shown how close the two leaders came to agreement in October 1986. (3)