Archive (Reagan Library)

Falklands: Thatcher letter to Reagan (U.N. resolution unacceptable to UK) [summary declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: 10 Downing Street
Source: Reagan Library: NSA Head of State File (Box 35)
Editorial comments: Declassified 4 Apr 2000. A cover sheet next to the document in the file noted that it had been 'OBE' (overtaken by events).
Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 336 words
Themes: Defence (Falklands), Foreign policy (USA), MT contacts with Ronald Reagan
Declassified F96-107#168
By SMF, NARA, Date 4/4/00


October 30, 1982


Subject: President’s response to Prime Minister Thatcher; New Argentine Concessions

The Argentine government made further significant concessions to us on the Falklands Resolution on October 30. These changes reinforce the Secretary’s recommendation that we support the Argentine resolution and make it easier to respond to Mrs. Thatcher.

Prime Minister Thatcher wrote the President October 25 requesting US support of the UK position on the Argentine resolution, saying the resolution was “wholly” unacceptable to the British government and people because it suggested that the maintenance of the present status of the Falklands was a threat to world peace, recalled earlier resolutions which were unacceptable to the UK and the US, refererred to statements by the Non-Aligned Movement, and prejudged the dispute in Argentina’s favor.

The new Argentine proposal:

(a) reaffirms the principles of the U.N. Charter concerning non-use of force; (b) takes into the account the de facto cessation of hostilities and the intention of the parties not to renew them; (c) states that the interests of the Islanders must be taken into account; (d) eliminates the offensive reference to colonialism; and (e) eliminates references to statements by the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Secretary [George Shultz] plans to telephone Foreign Secretary Pym apprising him of our decision. The Department of State recommends that the President respond to the Prime Minister by noting our desire to see the dispute between Argentina and the UK resolved peacefully and stating that we consider the Argentine draft to be moderate enough not to prejudice the position of either party to the dispute. The suggested text of a reply is attached.

L. Paul Bremer, III
Executive Secretary

Tab 1: Suggested reply
Tab 2: Incoming correspondence