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369. Note From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Eagleburger) to Secretary of State Haig 1

Mr. Secretary:


  • Falklands Follow-up

In the memo at Tab B, Tom Enders recommends a Presidential message to the new Argentine President, early lifting of economic sanctions, and non-involvement in the POW issue, except to encourage UK flexibility.2 I disagree with these recommendations:

(1) On the Presidential message, until we have taken some concrete steps (e.g., on sanctions and/or POW’s), the Argentines will dismiss friendly words, which will appear empty and condescending.

(2) On sanctions, this is too soon after the latest Reagan-Thatcher conversation.3 We’ll have a more natural opportunity—perhaps quite soon—if the British release the POW’s.

(3) On the POW’s themselves, we should try to get all the credit we can for their release. Pym’s current notion is to announce their release when Perez de Cuellar visits London on July 12–13. I believe we may be able to facilitate an earlier release, and in any case, we have every right to ask the British to share the credit with us, particularly since the Argentines have asked for our help.

I recommend the following approach:

—no Presidential message until we have taken some positive step;

—responding to Nicolaides, through Shlaudeman, that we have taken note of their message4 and will do what we can with the British;

—calling in Nicko to encourage an early move on the POW’s and to ask that the British use us as the intermediary;

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—holding off on lifting sanctions until the UK decides on the POW’s—or, if it appears that they will not move soon on that, at least another week or so.

At Tab A is a memo to the President outlining this course of action.5

Lawrence S. Eagleburger 6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, P890076–1216. Secret.
  2. Attached but not printed is a June 29 action memorandum from Enders and Blackwill to Haig. On the memorandum, Bremer indicated Haig’s disapproval of the recommendation to forward the attached memorandum to the President seeking authorization to lift economic sanctions and added the following notation: “Secretary signed an alternative memo to the President on the subject.” (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, P890076–1218)
  3. See Document 361.
  4. See Document 366.
  5. Attached but not printed. (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, P890076–1225)
  6. Eagleburger initialed “LSE” above his typed signature.