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25 Years Ago, Malta Summit Marked Unofficial End Of Cold War

AUDIE CORNISH: Political press conferences sound pretty much the same, but we're going to look back at one that was historic.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Question to President Bush from the Izvestia newspaper.

CORNISH: Twenty-five years ago today, two of the most powerful men in the world met on a cruiser off Malta, and some say they ended the Cold War right there.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV: (Through translator) We would really like our relations to open greater possibilities for cooperation.

CORNISH: That's Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev through a translator. The Berlin Wall had fallen just a few weeks earlier, and he and President George Bush - the elder Bush - were speaking the unfamiliar language of friendship.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: There is enormous support in our country for what Chairman Gorbachev is doing inside the Soviet Union and so...

CORNISH: And there were no big agreements at Malta, but they toasted each other, took a lot of pictures, and left many people with a lot of hope. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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