Archive (Reagan Library)

Middle East: Thatcher letter to Reagan (Lebanon) [summary declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: 10 Downing Street
Source: Reagan Library: NSC Executive Secretariat Head of State File
Editorial comments: MT's letter remains classified. Its date is apparent from a copy in the Thatcher MSS.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 236 words
Themes: Foreign policy (Middle East), Foreign policy (USA)

Declassified S98-001#45
By dIb, NARA, Date 6/30/00

United States Department of State
Washington D.C.


Subject: Draft Response from the President to Message from Prime Minister Thatcher

Prime Minister Thatcher sent a message to the President (Tab A) asking that we think carefully about retaliating for the bomb attack on the Marines, noting that she believes Secretary Shultz to have reassured our MNF partners in Paris that no hasty action would be undertaken. She also asks again that we consider the circumstances under which the MNF might be withdrawn from Lebanon, and proposes that US and British officials work out a common approach before the issue is taken up again by the MNF ministers at the margins of the NATO meeting in December.

The proposed response (Tab B) sets the record straight on US intentions to engage in measures of self-defense against the perpetrators of the bomb attack. The draft also notes the importance of the reconciliation process and the need for the Allies to stand firm at this delicate juncture. In response to her proposal for pre-NATO meetings, we have suggested that the President ask the Department to arrange appropriate US/UK consultations.

Charles Hill, Executive Secretary