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62. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Enders) and the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Scanlan) to Secretary of State Haig 1

SUBJECT

  • Proximate Visits of High-Level USG Officials to Argentina

ISSUE

Air Force Chief of Staff Allen, is scheduled to attend an inter-American meeting of Air Force Chiefs in Buenos Aires, April 8–9. STR Brock is to head a delegation to a US/Argentine Mixed Economic Commission meeting in Buenos Aires April 13–15. Frank Carlucci will be in Argentina April 27–28 as part of a South American trip. Agriculture Secretary Block is also making a southern swing and will be in Buenos Aires May 1–3. Given recent events and current uncertainties, should we cancel any of these visits?

ANALYSIS OF OPTIONS:

In ARA’s view, we should go ahead with the Allen, Brock, and Block visits, but be prepared to cancel the Carlucci visit if there is no progress toward peaceful solution by April 12. The Allen meeting is inter-American in nature and affects our relations with all hemispheric countries. Even during the lowest point of our relations with Chile, Allen attended a similar meeting there. The Mixed Economic Commission has already been postponed twice. The Argentines will be holding similar meetings with the Chinese and Russians this month. The Block visit is in support of our agricultural exports and would have relatively low political visibility. More generally, if we are to have a good offices role in finding a peaceful resolution of the Falkland Islands dispute, we should not now be taking actions that will increase the GOA’s perception of a tilt toward the UK.

EUR believes neither Allen nor Carlucci should plan to visit Argentina at this time. We strongly supported the UN resolution calling for [Page 109]Argentine withdrawal from the Falklands, and to allow top military/defense officials to proceed as if business were usual would leave a decidedly wrong impression of our reaction to the Argentine invasion—an invasion we have repeatedly deplored. We recognize that the issue of a good offices role is an important factor but believe that we can accommodate the Argentines by permitting Messrs. Block and Brock to proceed. The Brock visit to attend the Mixed Economic Commission meeting may have to be cancelled if you decide to support the UK requests for assistance on economic sanctions being addressed separately.

Recommendations:

1. That we inform DOD that General Allen should attend the April 8–9 meeting of hemispheric Air Force Chiefs. (ARA favors, EUR opposes).2

Alternatively, that the USAF send a lower-ranking official in place of Allen. (PM favors).3

2. That we proceed with the Mixed Economic Commission meeting April 13–15, with USTR Brock heading the delegation. (ARA supports, EUR links this to your decision on UK requests for economic sanctions being addressed separately).4

3. That we be prepared to cancel the Carlucci visit but hold up a final decision until April 12. (ARA, PM and EUR support).5

4. That we tell USDA Block to continue with his travel plans, including the visit to Argentina May 1–3. (ARA and EUR support).6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, P880104–0653. Confidential; Nodis. Drafted by Service and Pendleton; cleared by Bosworth and M. Austin (PM/RSA). Service initialed for Enders. Pendleton initialed for Scanlan. Service also initialed for Bosworth and Austin. A stamped notation in the top right-hand corner of the memorandum indicates that Eagleburger saw it on April 12. He wrote in the upper right-hand corner: “JB[Buckley]—Per our telecon. LSE.” Below this notation, a second notation in an unknown hand reads: “OBE. See marginal notes.”
  2. Haig initialed his approval of the recommendation, adding the handwritten notation: “can help solve problem!” In the right-hand margin next to this recommendation, Eagleburger wrote: “Done.”
  3. Haig neither approved nor disapproved the option. In the left-hand margin, Eagleburger drew an arrow pointing to it.
  4. Haig initialed his approval of this recommendation, adding a handwritten notation: “But with [illegible] that we reassess on April 10.” In the left-hand margin next to this recommendation, Eagleburger drew an arrow pointing to it. In the right-hand margin, he wrote: “Done.”
  5. Haig initialed his approval of the recommendation. In the left-hand margin next to it, a notation in an unknown hand reads: “Pending, probable that will not attend.” Eagleburger also drew an arrow pointing to this recommendation and in the right-hand margin highlighted the recommendation with two parallel lines, a check mark, and a question mark.
  6. Haig initialed his approval of the recommendation. In the left-hand margin, a notation in an unknown hand reads: “OBE’d by Block. Cancellation of visit.” Eagleburger also drew an arrow pointing to this recommendation and in the right-hand margin highlighted the recommendation with two parallel lines, a check mark, and a question mark.