Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Death of Federal Diplomatic and Military Personnel in Beirut, Lebanon

April 20, 1983

The President has designated Under Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger to head a special United States Government delegation to honor the brave men and women victimized by a terrorist attack while serving the United States in Lebanon. The delegation is scheduled to depart Washington on April 21.

Other members of the delegation will be Agency for International Development Administrator Peter McPherson; Deputy Director of Central Intelligence John N. McMahon; Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs Nicholas A. Veliotes; United States Information Agency Counselor John W. Shirley; Lt. Gen. Donald M. Babers of the United States Army; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Noel Koch; Maj. Gen. Bernard E. Trainor of the United States Marine Corps; and Howard Teicher, senior staff member of the National Security Council. The delegation will bring back to the United States the remains of those American victims recovered.

While in Lebanon the delegation will meet with the Lebanese leadership, the courageous men and women -- both Lebanese and American -- of the Embassy staff, and the members of the United States Marine Amphibious Unit deployed in the Beirut area. The visit by this high-level delegation will also serve to underscore the depth of our gratitude to and admiration for the brave members of Lebanon's Internal Security Force and military services, some of whom gave their lives in protecting our diplomatic mission.

Note: Deputy Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes read the statement in the Briefing Room at the White House during his daily news briefing for reporters, which began at 12:40 p.m. Mr. Speakes also announced that the President had spoken by telephone with the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Robert S. Dillon, earlier in the day.