President Reagan will make his first trip to Europe since taking office to attend summit meetings in Versailles and Brussels and to meet with Pope John Paul II in Rome, the White House announced yesterday.
The president will begin his week-long trip at the economic summit meeting of leaders of the industrialized nations. French President Francois Mitterrand will host the June 4-6 conference in Versailles, which also will be attended by the leaders of Canada, Italy, West Germany, Japan and Britain.
Reagan is to travel to Rome on June 7 at the invitation of the Italian government, and is to meet with Italian President Sandro Pertini and have an audience with the pope.
Reagan and the pope correspond regularly, and their contacts have become more frequent, including a telephone conversation, since the December imposition of martial law in Poland. Both men survived attempts on their lives in 1981.
The trip will end with a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders in Brussels June 9 and 10. White House deputy press secretary Larry Speakes said this will be the first meeting of the heads of government of the NATO alliance since 1978. "The idea for the NATO summit arose out of two recent ministerial-level meetings," Speakes said.
Reagan sees the NATO meeting as an opportunity for the alliance to "shape its response to this decade's challenges," the White House said. The Polish crisis is certain to be a major item on the agenda.
During his visit to Europe Reagan also plans to spend time in Paris, where he is to meet with Mitterrand in an effort to persuade France to play a larger role in NATO, officials said.
The only previous trips outside the United States that Reagan has taken as president were Canada and Mexico. Last summer he attended an economic summit meeting in Ottawa and last fall he flew to Cancun for a meeting on international development that brought together leaders of rich and poor nations.