Archive (Reagan Library)

Cold War: Reagan call to Thatcher (reporting Washington Summit [talking points only] [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library: Presidential Handwriting File (Presidential Telephone Calls) (Folder 193)
Editorial comments: The call itself took place on 11 December around 10am EST. Declassified 29 June 2000. No transcript or memorandum of the conversation appears to have been made at the US end.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 640 words
Themes: Defence (arms control), Foreign policy (Asia), Foreign policy (Middle East), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), MT contacts with Ronald Reagan

Declassified F98-016#26
By dIb, NARA, Date 6/29/00

(1) Cover note for Reagan call to Thatcher Talking Points:


The White House,

The President has seen 12/14
1987 DEC 10 [Time of day stamp illegible]


TO: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
DATE: December 11, 1987
RECOMMENDED BY: for Colin L. Powell
PURPOSE: To inform Mrs. Thatcher on the results of your meetings with Gorbachev.
SECURE OR OPEN: Open line call
INTERPRETER: None required.
PHONE NUMBER: [Witheld by editor.]
CONTACT PERSON: Charles Powell, Special Assistant to the PM
SUGGESTED TIMES: 10:00am – 11:00am
1. Express appreciation for pre-summit consultations
2. Summarize results of meetings with Gorbachev.

Date of submission: [blank]

ACTION: [RR annotated:] “Call Made”

cc. Vice President
Chief of Staff (2)

(2) Talking Points for Reagan call to Thatcher:


-- Margaret, I wanted to get back to you as I promised with a personal read-out of my meetings with Gorbachev.

-- Like you, I found him very confident, not like a political leader under fire. He was clearly in charge of Soviet team.

-- I had five hours with the General Secretary. Our talks were cordial, but very candid. Positions were firmly stated. While he showed some flexibility, he took a tough line on human rights and regional issues.

-- Clearly the INF Treaty was the key Summit event – I told him this is the precedent that needs to be set – toward reductions, not limiting expansion of nuclear weapons.

-- On START, we made real progress toward 50% reduction, on counting rules and on an outline of sweeping verification that builds on the INF regime. Significantly, the Soviets agreed to a sublimit of 4900 ballistic missile warheads, very close to our proposal of 4800.

-- On SDI, while rhetoric had changed, he remains adamant. He wants to kill or cripple SDI, while his own programs proceed. I won't agree to that. But it is significant that we were able to make progress on START without sacrificing SDI. [end p1]

-- We had a forceful exchange on regional issues, but frankly Gorbachev offered little new on either Afghanistan or the Gulf War. I pressed him to set a date certain for a withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 1988. All he did was repeat that he had a 12-month withdrawal timetable. Gorbachev again insisted that everything would turn out all right if the West would stop supporting the rebels.

-- Gorbachev was evasive on the Gulf. I wanted him to commit to having our U.N. Ambassadors draft a second resolution to enforce a ceasefire. Gorbachev stalled, insisting that Perez de Cuellar needs more time.

-- Although he made no commitments, I believe Gorbachev is under pressure to move on Afghanistan and the Gulf – not just from us, but from staunch Allues like you, and moderate Arabs. Let’s keep the pressure on – we’ll see results.

-- Much discussion was related to human rights – it was at the top of my agenda. I told him that we recognized the positive steps Soviets have made, but much more has to be done. He doesn’t want to talk about the Soviet recordm but it is clear to him that he must. Progress is being made, but there was no major breakthrough in this area.

-- Shultz will have a more complete readout, but I wanted to pass on to you these personal impressions. I think our consulting so closely has made it clear to Gorbachev that he can't split this Alliance.