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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 17, 1989

LETTER FROM GEORGE H. W. BUSH TO MIKHAIL GORBACHEV

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    A diplomatic personal note from President Bush to Gorbachev, thanking Gorbachev for the special attention he gave to Bush's son and grandson during their trip to Armenia, and then touches on the current state of US-Soviet bilateral relations and arms control proposals.
    "Letter from George H. W. Bush to Mikhail Gorbachev," January 17, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation, Notes of A.S. Chernyaev. Translated by Svetlana Savranskaya for The National Security Archive http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134824
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Letter from Bush to Gorbachev, January 17, 1989.

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Handed by Henry Kissinger to Mikhail Gorbachev

January 17, 1989

Dear President Gorbachev,

I am using the opportunity of Henry Kissinger's visit to Moscow to send you a short personal letter.

First of all, I would like to tell you that I very much appreciate the attention given to my son and grandson during their recent trip to Armenia.  They both are deeply shocked by this terrible tragedy, which they witnessed on the spot.  They came back with the feeling of deep respect for the strength and devotion of the people who repair and rebuild all that was destroyed in the catastrophe.

Also, I would like to reiterate what I said to you last year, when you came to the United Nations.  As I explained then, my advisers responsible for national security and myself will need some time to think through the entire range of issues, especially those concerning arms control, that occupy the central place in our bilateral relations, and to formulate our position in the interest of further development of these relations.  Our goal is to formulate a solid and consistent American approach.  We are not talking about slowing down or reversing the positive process that marked the last two years.

I am very serious about moving our relationship forward in the interest of our two countries and peace itself. I believe that we should elevate the dialogue, especially between you and me, above the details of arms control proposals, and discuss more general issues of more extensive political relations to which we should aspire.

I am ready to do everything possible in order to build and improve a reliable and solid relationship. I hope that we will continue personal contacts in the process of solving common problems that our countries are faced with.

Respectfully,

George Bush