238. Telegram From Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

Tosec 120055/321017. Subject: Message to President Brezhnev.

1. (S-entire text)

2. Following is text of message from President Carter to Brezhnev concerning the dangerous situation which now exists on the Thai-Kampuchean border. You should deliver as soon as possible.

3. Begin text:

Dear Mr. President:

When we met in Vienna last summer, we agreed upon the value of consulting with each other in order to prevent and eliminate conflict in various regions of the world. In this context, I am writing to you to express my concern about the threat to peace posed by increasing Vietnamese incursions into Thailand.

The threat to peace in Southeast Asia has grown steadily since Vietnam’s invasion and occupation of Kampuchea late last year. We hope that Vietnam will move as promptly as possible to withdraw its troops from Kampuchea so that peace and stability, under an independent and non-aligned Kampuchean government, can be restored in the area. Of particular urgency is the fact that in recent weeks the Vietnamese have been intensifying their military operations near the borders of Thailand. On several occasions, the Vietnamese have shelled Thai territory or have sent ground forces across the Thai border.

A continuation of such incursions into Thailand could pose a grave threat to peace in the area. Because of our close relations with Thailand as well as our obligations under the Manila Pact, the United States could not remain indifferent to an expansion of the conflict.

I urge you to use your influence with the Vietnamese to ensure that their troops do not again violate Thai territory.


Jimmy Carter.

End text.

  1. Source: Carter Library, Brzezinski Donated Material, Geographic File, Box 18, U.S.S.R.—Carter/Brezhnev Correspondence (9/79–2/80). Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Sent for information Immediate to the Secretary’s delegation. Vance was in Brussels, December 12–14, to attend the NATO ministerial meeting and a special meeting of NATO Foreign and Defense Ministers; Christopher was Acting Secretary in his absence. Drafted in the White House; cleared by Shulman, Bremer, B. Levin (EA), and Robert Steven (S/S–O); approved by Barry.