Archive (Reagan Library)

Falklands: Reagan letter to Thatcher (resuming US arms sales to Argentina) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library: NSA Head of State File (Thatcher: Cables [4]) Box 35
Editorial comments: Despatched 0442 GMT; declassified 27 March 2000.
Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 248 words
Themes: Defence (Falklands), Foreign policy (Americas excluding USA), Foreign policy (USA), MT contacts with Ronald Reagan
Declassified F96-107#47
By SMF, NATA, Date 3/27/00


1. (S) – entire text.

2. Embassy should deliver the following letter from the President to Prime Minister Thatcher by 8:30AM, Thursday, London time.

3. Begin text:

December 7, 1983

Dear Margaret:

I sincerely appreciate your positive response to my decision to certify that Argentina has made significant improvements in human rights. We are sensitive to your concerns on this matter. As we indicated, certification does not mean arms sales and, in any case, any request will be evaluated carefully on a case-by-case basis. We will consult closely with you prior to any proposed major sale.

George Shultz will discuss this issue with Geoffrey Howe in Brussels this week. I agree with the approach you outlined in your letter for the public presentation of our certification decision. We will cooperate fully with your government on all public affairs aspects of the certification process.

George Bush will inform President-elect Alfonsin of our mutual desire to see the Falklands issue resolved [end p1] peacefully. The Vice President’s visit represents our hope that the inauguration of the Alfonsin Government will be a major step forward in the new political process in Argentina – one that will adhere to the democratic ideals we both hold so dear.

With warm wishes,