Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on President Reagan's Meeting With President Jose Napoleon Duarte of El Salvador

July 23, 1984

During his brief visit to Washington today, El Salvador's President Jose Napoleon Duarte met with President Reagan this morning at 11 a.m. for half an hour, with the Vice President present. From the State Department, the meeting included Secretary Shultz and U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Thomas Pickering.

Following his meeting with President Reagan, President Duarte went to the Hill to meet with House Majority Leader James Wright. We believe he was also seeing Jamie Whitten, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and Clarence Long, chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, and possibly others.

Following his meeting on the Hill, President Duarte was to return to New York City. He's there for meetings with U.N. officials, the Americas Society, and others.

President Duarte gave a full readout of the meeting, discussing his assessment of developments in El Salvador, his very successful trip to Europe, and the administration's efforts during the current 3-week congressional session to secure pending FY 84 supplemental funds and complete congressional action on the Central American Democracy, Peace, and Development Initiative. We have nothing to add to what he said.

As you know, we still hope to secure that portion of the FY 84 supplemental request which has not been acted on (for El Salvador this includes $134 million in economic assistance and $117 million in military assistance) and the Central America Democracy, Peace, and Development Initiative plan request for all of Central America, which includes for FY 85 $1.376 billion ($1.12 billion in economic and $256 million in military assistance for the region). Of the $1.376 billion requested, $473.6 million would be for El Salvador -- $341.1 million would be for economic assistance and $132.5 million would be for military assistance.

The administration in February requested a supplemental appropriation of $659 million to begin meeting the most urgent needs identified by the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America. $312.7 million in the FY 84 supplemental ($134 million in economic and $178.7 million in military assistance) is for El Salvador.

As you know, some $61.7 million in urgently needed military assistance for El Salvador was passed by the Congress. The remaining $117 million in military assistance and $134 million in economic assistance have not been acted upon and, at this point, are both urgently needed by the Government of El Salvador, as are the $266 million in economic assistance and $142 million in military assistance requested in February for other countries in Central America.

We will be striving for House action on our requests for the Henry Jackson plan and the supplemental funds for El Salvador.