Archive (Reagan Library)

Cold War: Reagan letter to Thatcher (Law of the Sea) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library: NSA Head of State File (Box 35)
Editorial comments: Declassified 27 March 2000. NSA Clark's cover memo precedes Reagan's letter.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 368 words
Themes: Foreign policy (development, aid, etc), Foreign policy (International organizations), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU), MT contacts with Ronald Reagan
Declassified F96-107#97
By SMF, NARA, Date 3/27/00

(1) Clark memorandum:

Subject: Letters on Law of the Sea Negotiations and Reciprocating States Agreement

You recently sent letters to Prime Minister Thatcher, President Mitterand [sic], and Chancellor Schmidt seeking support for our positions in the Law of the Sea (LOS) negotiations now underway in New York. (We have had some rough sledding there; it is too early to tell whether we can overcome the impasse.) Mitterand and Suzuki have sent acknowledgments that require no reply. Thatcher’s letter (Tab B), however, also notes the UK’s preference not to sign the Reciprocating States Agreement before this LOS session ends. We want to keep pressure on them to sign that agreement right after the conference and the proposed reply at Tab A would do that. State and the Speechwriters concur in the reply.

That you sign the letter to Thatcher at Tab A.
[President initialled his approval]

(2) Ronald Reagan letter:

The White House

March 29, 1982

Dear Margaret:

Thank you for your letter of March 1 on the Law of the Sea negotiations and the Reciprocating States Agreement. I appreciate your consideration of our positions in the negotiations and your supportive efforts with influential governments, key leaders of the conference, and the E.C. Council of Ministers.

As you know, we have considered it important to conclude an interim Reciprocating States Agreement as soon as possible and regret that your country and the Federal Republic of Germany decided not to sign the agreement prior to the conclusion of the current Law of the Sea session in New York. The United States remains committed to the agreement as an interim measure, pending entry into force of a Law of the Sea treaty acceptable to our countries. We hope that your government, as well as other like-minded states, will enter into the arrangement in May, shortly after the close of this Law of the Sea session.

We look forward to working closely with you on both of these matters.