Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Situation in Lebanon

February 8, 1984

The President this morning at 8:50 a.m. convened a conference call that included the Vice President, Bud McFarlane in Washington, Admiral Poindexter and Mike Deaver in Santa Barbara, the President being at the ranch. They spoke for 15 minutes. During the conference call, the President received an extensive briefing and update on the situation in Beirut on the ground. In addition, he received a report through the Vice President and McFarlane from Ambassador Rumsfeld which dealt with Ambassador Rumsfeld's meeting today with President Gemayel in Beirut.

The conference call this morning here followed an extensive discussion that the Vice President had by telephone with other foreign policy advisers in Washington. The Vice President, as you know, over the past several days -- Monday and Tuesday -- had been conducting either meetings in the White House Situation Room or having the meetings by conference call. This morning's meeting was by conference call in Washington.

The President subsequently talked to the Vice President again about 9:25 a.m. for about 5 minutes to provide further guidance for the Vice President as a result of the phone call.

Overnight, the President received a decision paper from his foreign policy advisers and made a number of specific decisions that were designed to implement the plan that he announced yesterday afternoon.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters assembled in the Vista Mar Monte Room at the Sheraton Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA, during his daily press briefing, which began at 10:17 a.m.