Archive (Reagan Library)

Cold War: Geneva (Reagan-Gorbachev) Summit (tea party between the First Ladies) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: Maison de Saussure, Geneva, Switzerland
Source: Reagan Library: Matlock MSS (Box 92137)
Editorial comments: 3.34-4.30pm.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 262 words
Themes: Defence (general), Defence (arms control), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states)
Declassified 5/15/00

United States Department of State
Washington D.C. 20520



SUBJECT: Tea Hosted by Mrs. Reagan for Mrs. Gorbachev

Date: November 19, 1985
Time: 3:34 – 4:30 PM
Place: Maison de Saussure, Geneva, Switzerland

U.S. Side
Mrs. Reagan
E. Arensburger, Interpreter
Soviet Side
Mrs. Gorbachev
Soviet Interpreter


Mrs. Gorbachev commented on the large number of photographers and reporters and said there were far fewer in the Soviet Union.

Over tea, Mrs. Gorbachev began by describing the beauties of her country and invited Mrs. Reagan to come and visit it.

Mrs. Reagan replied that she would be pleased to come, but Mrs. Gorbachev had just mentioned Siberia, and that is one place Mrs. Reagan would not like to go; it is too cold.

Mrs. Reagan extended an invitation to Mrs. Gorbachev to come and visit the United States and said she would prefer a warm time for both visits.

The ladies then discussed the weather in Geneva, Moscow and Washington; and jet lag, which apparently affected them more than it did their husbands.

A remark about the bouquets in the room led to a discussion of flowers. Mrs. Gorbachev's favorite flowers, she said, are roses. After those, she prefers wild flowers. Mrs. Reagan spoke of the beauties of wild flowers at their ranch in California.

Both ladies expressed their hope that this meeting in Geneva would lead to greater understanding between their two countries, and eventually to peace in the world for this and future generations.