Archive (Reagan Library)

Middle East: Reagan letter to Thatcher (bombing of US Marine HQ in Beirut) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library: NSA Head of State File (Thatcher: Cables [3]) Box 35
Editorial comments: Despatch time uncertain; declassified 27 March 2000.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 230 words
Themes: Defence (general), Foreign policy (Middle East), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU), Terrorism, MT contacts with Ronald Reagan
Declassified F96-107#43

[Sent also to Beirut, Paris and Rome]


Dear Margaret:

There is no doubt that the perpetrators of the latest bombings in Beirut have attempted once more to undermine our collective will and sense of purpose as we work to support the legitimate government of Lebanon in its efforts to secure a more stable and peaceful future.

Despite our sorrow at the great loss of life, I want to assure you that the United States remains firmly committed to our joint search for peace and stability in Lebanon. The United States will not be dissuaded by acts of violence committed by those who are seeking to prevent Lebanese political reconciliation and the restoration of [end p1] Lebanese sovereignty over territory at present controlled by foreign forces.

Our common goals are still unattainable; we believe that we can achieve them if we stand united and work closely together in the face of these new provocations.

I believe that our foreign ministers should meet to discuss matters concerning the MNF. I have asked Secretary Shultz to call his counterparts in the MNF governments to see if a meeting time and place can be arranged promptly.