Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters Following Meetings With Brazilian President Joao Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo in Brasilia

December 1, 1982

Q. Sir, can you tell us -- [inaudible] -- of Senator Kennedy's refusal to run in '84 will have on the race?

The President. Sam [Sam Donaldson, ABC News], I'm not going to comment on what I understand is just a rumor, and -- --

Q. He's making it official, sir, this afternoon.

The President. Well, if he's made it official, why, that's a problem for the Democratic Party, and they're welcome to it.

Q. What about the Lebanon situation? Are you going to give more troops to Lebanon that President Gemayel has asked for?

Q. Mr. President, are we going to give the Brazilians some help with their economic problems, sir?

The President. Let me -- [inaudible].

Q. Sir, what about the Lebanon situation?

The President. Lebanon has made a request. They believe that a bigger multinational force would speed up and help them in removing the other foreign forces that are in Lebanon. This has been talked about for some time. It's not a new idea presented to us. And we will be talking to friends and allies about that and taking it up with them, because we want to do whatever we can to help get the foreign forces out of Lebanon. That's the first important step for beginning -- --

Q. When do you think you can get the foreign forces out?

Q. When can you get them out now, and how soon could you bring them home?

The President. We're not discussing that now. We're discussing how the multinational force can aid the Lebanese Government in getting control of its own country and getting the Syrians, the PLO, and the Israelis out of Lebanon.

Q. A few more troops, would that help? If we offered a few more troops, would that help?

The President. Well -- [inaudible] -- not only for ourselves. The request has simply been made for the multinational force -- but to see if there are other nations that would like to join in that force.

Q. Now, are we going to give Brazil some help with its economic problems, sir?

The President. This has got to be the last question, they tell me, because of the time element here.

We've had a very good meeting this morning. And we have -- --

Q. He's translating, sir.

The President. Oh, you're translating. Oh, fine.

We've had a very fine meeting on this and on a number of other subjects here, and have come to some agreements about future cooperation and all. And, yes, we look forward to working with Brazil on their economic problems as well as our own and, as I say, have a fine understanding. And it was worthwhile.

Q. Do you think that they'll be able to get enough credit, sir, so -- --

Q. Are we going to give them some money, sir?

The President. No, there has been a bridge loan, you might say, which is just a part of the entire economic process that is going on. And these meetings have been very successful.

Q. Are you going to help them on trade?

The President. What?

Q. Are you going to help them on trade, sir?

The President. We haven't gotten down to much of that, except that we can say this for Brazil, that in the GATT meeting just concluded, Brazil's contributions in the discussions there in GATT were most impressive and, certainly, most pleasing to us and to our own point of view there with regard to GATT. They were most helpful -- [inaudible].

Q. What about the export subsidies?

Q. You're not going to do what Kennedy did, are you?

The President. We're holding up President Figueiredo. He cannot get down -- [inaudible].

Q. Well, are you going to do what Kennedy did? You won't take yourself out of the race will you?

The President. What?

Q. You won't take yourself out of the '84 race, will you?

The President. You know, I don't believe that there's much of a record of me imitating Teddy Kennedy. [Laughter]

Note: The exchange began at 11:32 a.m. in the Palacio do Planalto. Earlier, the President had met privately with President Figueiredo in the Brazilian President's office, and then they met, together with their delegations, in the President's Cabinet room.

In the afternoon, President Reagan attended a private luncheon hosted by President Figueiredo at the Brazilian President's residence, Granja do Torto. Following the luncheon, President Reagan returned to the Palacio da Alvorada and, in the early evening, hosted a reception for a group of members of the Brazilian Congress.