Falklands: Presidential Remarks on Falklands (extract from Q&A with Mid-Western editors and broadcasters) ["little ice-cold bunch of land" - "armed aggression of that kind must not be allowed to succeed"]
|Venue:||State Dining Room, the White House|
|Word count:||426 words|
|Themes:||Defence (Falklands War 1982), Foreign policy (USA)|
Q. Mr. President, do you see any possibility of military involvement by the United States in the Falklands dispute?
The President. No, I don't see any possibility of that. And we're still hopeful that before action takes place, that there still may be a diplomatic settlement. We've gone as far as we can go in that regard. There's nothing more that we can propose. We stand ready -- and both sides know it -- to help if need be.
But I know that there's still discussion going on at the U.N. And I believe that, down inside, neither side really wants the violence. So, we'll hope for that.
But, no, there would be no involvement militarily by the United States.
Ms. Small. [Karna S. Small, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director, Media Relations and Planning] One more.
Q. Concerning that -- --
The President. She said one more.
Q. In his statement, this morning, Secretary Haig said that, if there is a military conflict, the United States will be providing military materiel to Great Britain. May I ask what the nature of that supply would be and what Argentina's response has been to the statement?
The President. I haven't heard any response to that statement as yet. It was only just made this morning. That would only be in keeping with our treaties, bilateral treaties that we have with England by way of the North American [Atlantic] alliance. And we've had -- at this moment we've had no request for any such help from the United Kingdom.
But I think what the Secretary was saying is, we must remember that the aggression was on the part of Argentina in this dispute over the sovereignty of that little ice-cold bunch of land down there, and they finally just resorted to armed aggression, and there was bloodshed. And I think the principle that all of us must abide by is, armed aggression of that kind must not be allowed to succeed.
Q. Would you grant what materiel Great Britain requests?
The President. I'm sure that we would, because I'm sure they wouldn't make any request that was not in keeping with the bilateral arrangements that we have.
Ms. Small. Thank you, Mr. President.
The President. Well, I'm told that I can't. They tell me that I have to leave here. I'm terribly sorry.
Q. May I ask one quick question about another island in the Atlantic that may be -- --
The President. If I can answer it in one word or two.