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US proposes early NATO talks on nuclear arms

The United States said Tuesday it would propose an early meeting with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners to discuss US-Soviet talks to limit medium-range nuclear weapons in West Europe. US officials said the meeting of the NATO Special Consultative Group was expected before the end of this month. Assuming the Soviet Union agreed to go ahead, negotiations on the so-called "theater nuclear forces" could open in two to three months, officials said.

In addition, the State Department said a Soviet-American summit likely could not be held before late summer and would require careful preparation and consultation with US allies.

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Spokesman William Dyess said it is a "reasonable assumption" a US-Soviet summit would not take place before the annual Western eco nomic summit scheduled for July.