WASHINGTON -- President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev toasted the first nuclear arms reduction treaty Tuesday night with the hard-eyed realism of ideological adversaries willing to set aside differences in the name of world peace.
While basking in the glow of the medium-range missile treaty signed seven hours earlier, Reagan told Gorbachev at the elegant state dinner, 'Our relationship ... is founded not just on arms control, but reaches across a broad spectrum of issues, a relationship that addresses the basic problems of self-determination in the area of regional conflicts and human rights.
'There are differences here, but ones that require frankness and candor. And on bilateral relations we also need hard and honest debate.'
As his remarks were translated into Russian, Gorbachev carefully eyed the president, who opened by reminding the Soviet leader there are 'fundamental disagreements about how human communities should govern ourselves.'
Gorbachev replied in his toast that while there are 'great political and ideological distances' between the superpowers, the treaty signing indicates 'winter is on the wane.'
'The goal we are setting today,' Gorbachev said during the champagne toasts, 'is to build a nuclear-free world.'
Reagan said the other issues will not be settled this week, but that both leaders have 'the responsibility to settle our differences in peace.'
The president, toasting Gorbachev's health in Russian before a dinner audience that included entertainment and sports celebrities and hard-line conservatives, offered 'a toast, a commitment on behalf of the American people of seriousness, good will and hope for the future.'
Gorbachev toasted 'peace and prosperity for the peoples of our two countries.'
Reagan greeted the Gorbachevs, who arrived 10 minutes late, to the dinner, and was asked whether old enemies were becoming new friends, and replied: 'We are becoming old friends.'
Gorbachev, breaking with protocol, wore a dark blue suit instead of the traditional tuxedo.
The president wore black tie and his wife, Nancy, wore a black, white and pink beaded Galanos dress. Mrs. Gorbachev wore a two-piece black moire brocade suit.
Among those invited were former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Pentagon official Richard Perle, scientist Edward Teller, known as 'father of the H-Bomb', conservative columnist George Will, and former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick.
The Reagans invited some Hollywood friends, including actress Claudette Colbert, actor Jimmy Stewart and the first lady's interior designer, Ted Graber.
From the sports world came baseball great Joe Dimaggio, gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton, tennis star Chris Evert and former Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon.
Invited from the music field were National Symphony Orchestra music director Mstislav Rostropovich, singer Pearl Bailey and her husband jazz drummer Louis Bellson, jazz musician Dave Brubeck and New York Philharmonic conductor Zubin Mehta.
Congressional leaders, Cabinet members and business tycoons were invited as well, along with the official Soviet party.
Guests streaming into the White House were unanimous in expressing their delight at attending the state dinner.
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, asked why he had been invited, said, 'Because I worked like hell on that damn treaty, that's why.'
As the dinner began, protesters gathered across the street from the White House in Lafayette Square and could be heard chanting from the front steps of the executive mansion: 'Nyet, nyet, Soviet!'
Pianist Van Cliburn, a household name in Moscow after he won the Tschaikovsky contest in the 1950s, performed Brahms 'Intermezzo, Opus 118, No. 6'; Rachmaninoff's 'Etude-Tableau, Opus 39, No. 5; 'Widmung' by Schumann-Lizst and Debussey's 'L'Isle Joyeuse.'
The specially selected menu, in addition to the caviar and lobsters, also included Columbia River salmon, fennel seed twists, loin of veal with wild mushrooms, champagne sauce, tarragon tomatoes, corn turban, medley of garden greens, brie cheese with crushed walnuts, vinegar and avocado oil dressing; tea sorbet and honey ice cream.
The wines served were Jordan Chardonnay, 1984; Stags' Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 2, 1978 and Iron Horse Brut Summit Cuvee, 1984.
Reagan presented Gorbachev with a Tiffany 'Philadelphia' sterling silver bowl engraved with the seals of the president and the coat of arms of the Soviet Union, and which carried the following inscription in English and Russian:
'To his Excellency Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, December, 1987.
Mrs. Reagan gave Mrs. Gorbachev a set of 9-inch Steuben 'teardrop' candlesticks, presented in a red leather case lined in velvet.
The Reagans gave the Gorbachevs a 'personally inscribed' photograph of the president and first lady in a navy blue leather frame with the presidential seal at the top in gold leaf.
Gorbachev gave the president an embroidered saddle and a case of caviar. Mrs. Gorbachev gave Mrs. Reagan a crystal serving set and assorted chocolates.
For the people of the Soviet Union, the Reagans presented on behalf of the American people a Boehm procelain sculpture called 'Global Peace.'
The sculpture has seven doves in flight around Earth, rising in a spiral, and is mounted on a circular pedestal adorned with olive leaves in high relief.
For the American people, the Gorbachevs presented a polished stone centerpiece.