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President Kennedy Clarifies Conditions for Second Khrushchev Summit

Mar. 7, 1962 - At his press conference today, the President’s attention was called to the apparently different conditions set by himself and Mr. Macmillan for meeting Mr. Khrushchev in Geneva. Mr. Macmillan has said he would go if there was progress or if certain clear points of disagreements developed. The President has said he would go to register progress at lower levels. When it was remarked today that there were written reports that “you are going to eat those words and go to a summit without any agreement at a lower level,” the President said with a grin: “Well, I’m going to have a dinner with all of the people who’ve written it and we’ll see who eats what.” He added that he would go to the summit on the basis of prior agreements, or to avert a war or to deal with “an extremely dangerous situation.” To go to the summit without some understanding of what is to be accomplished there is likely to disappoint rather than help the cause, he added.

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