These are the remarks of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in response to a greeting by Secretary of State George P. Shultz at Andrews Air Force Base yesterday, as translated by The Washington Post.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary of State, for these words of greeting and for the hospitality. I should like, first of all, on behalf of the peoples of the Soviet Union to convey to the citizens of the United States of America the Soviet peoples' greetings and sincere respect.
On behalf of the people and the government of the Soviet Union, I wish to assure all Americans that we are sincerely striving to improve our relations.
I have arrived in your country on this visit to complete work and to sign the treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles, a treaty that is awaited by all peoples, all the peoples of the world.
At the center of our discussions with the president of the United States will be questions of reducing strategic offensive arms. This is the central question of Soviet-American relations.
We have something to say to the American leaders on that main question, and we are hoping that we will hear some new words from our partners.
We will be discussing other world problems, too, of course, problems which are of concern to all nations and problems which are awaiting solution.
We cannot shirk our roles -- the roles of the United States and the Soviet Union -- we must act with the utmost responsibility to our peoples and the peoples of the whole world.
The very fact of this meeting and its agenda, the agenda of this third Soviet-U.S. summit, point to the increased responsibility and understanding of that responsibility of the American administration and the leadership of the Soviet Union.
We are in favor of a constructive dialogue and for better relations.
I would like to wish peace and well-being to all Americans. Thank you.