Archive (Reagan Library)

Cold War: Reagan letter to Thatcher (coming broadcast on US-Soviet relations) [declassified 1998]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library: NSA Head of State File (Thatcher: Cables [4]) Box 35
Editorial comments:

Despatched 0316 GMT 15 Jan 1984; declassified 13 Oct 1998. Copy in THCR 3/1/36 (T10/84).

Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 434 words
Themes: Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Defence (arms control), MT contacts with Ronald Reagan, MT messages to and from world leaders
Declassified 98-005#5
13 Oct 1998


Subject: Letter from the President on his speech on US-Soviet relations

1. S – entire text.

2. On January 16 at 10:00AM EST, the President will deliver a major address on US-Soviet relations. Secretary Shultz will be carrying to London the signed original of the letter in para 3 from President Reagan to Prime Minister Thatcher, for delivery during his meeting with Mrs. Thatcher on Sunday January 15. Since it is not certain that final text of speech will be available at time of secretary’s departure, Embassy should ensure that copy of text (to be provided septel) is provided to secretary to be enclosed with the President’s letter. [end p1]

3. Begin text:

Dear Margaret:

- When you and I met at the end of September we had a useful talk on how to deal with the Soviet Union over the longer-term. I greatly value the advice and counsel you shared with me. At that time, the Korean Air Lines tragedy was very much in our minds. With Moscow’s unfortunate decision to suspend the major arms control negotiations, East-West relations have entered an even more difficult period.

- Against this background, I have decided that it is important to present to the American people and to Governments and publics throughout the world a comprehensive statement of my approach to the key element in East-West relations – the US-Soviet relationship. I will do this in a major address from the East Room at the White House on Monday, January 16.

- My address will reaffirm our willingness to pursue a constructive and realistic dialogue with the Soviet Union aimed at building a more positive and stable long-term relationship. I will call upon the Soviets to make a comparable and substantive response. While, I will not be announcing any specific new initiatives, I will be setting forth a framework for future US-Soviet relations.

- Given our close relationship and the special significance that I attach to this statement of US policy, I want to share the text with you beforehand. I hope you will agree that it meets our common objectives [end p2] of setting a positive tone both for the opening of the CDE meeting in Stockholm and for George Shultz’s bilateral meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko. I am particularly pleased that George will have an opportunity to give you a personal preview before his meetings in Stockholm.

With warm regards,