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

215384. Subject: Letter From President Brezhnev to President Reagan on Lebanon.

1. (S—Entire text.)

2. There follows the text of a letter to President Reagan from President Brezhnev delivered to the State Department by Soviet Embassy August 1.

3. Begin text.

[Page 649]

Mr. President,

I write you again in connection with the situation in Lebanon. You have undoubtedly been informed that the night of July 31–August 1 the Israeli forces, having again perfidiously broken the ceasefire, undertook a massive offensive on West Beirut. Peaceful residents are being ruthlessly killed, the city is being destroyed.

It cannot escape one’s notice that this perfidious attack followed soon after all members of the UN Security Council, with the exception of the US, had voted for a resolution demanding that Israel raise the siege of West Beirut. A conclusion suggests itself that there is a direct link between the US position, as it has manifested itself, inter alia, in the Security Council, and what Israel is perpetrating in Lebanon. Tel Aviv could not act so impudently if it did not feel that it enjoys the support of the United States.

The tragedy of Lebanon, and especially of the population of its capital, will be an indelible stain on the conscience of those, too, who could have stopped the aggressor, but have not done so.

I urgently call upon you, Mr. President, to use in a speediest manner the possibilities at your disposal in order not to permit continued annihilation of people in Beirut. The situation is so serious—I would say, critical—that the most urgent measures are required.

Sincerely, L. Brezhnev

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, N820007–0178. Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Stadis. Drafted by Combs; cleared in S/S–S; approved by Burt.