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British foreign secretary urges Soviets renew talks

The British foreign secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, urged the Soviet Union Monday to return to the nuclear arms negotiating table and assured Moscow the United States would set no conditions.

''Staying away from the negotiating table is a self-defeating course,'' Sir Geoffrey said at a lunch given by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.''The Soviet Union will find that the United States is ready to negotiate at any time without preconditions.''

Sir Geoffrey will meet with Mr. Gromyko again today, and he is also expected to meet President Konstantin Chernenko before he leaves Moscow this evening.

Sir Geoffrey said the absence of negotiations on the control of nuclear weapons, the most destructive of all, was a universal cause for great concern.

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