March 25, 1986

Well, last night, in response to the armed attack into sovereign Honduran territory, President Azcona formally requested urgent U.S. military assistance to include assisting and lifting Honduran troops as necessary and other material assistance in order to repel this and future Sandinista attacks. In response to this request, President Reagan has notified pertinent Members of Congress that he intends to exercise his authority under section 506A of the Foreign Assistance Act in order to provide Honduras with up to $20 million in emergency assistance.

The use of the President's authority responds to the unforeseen emergency which exists in Honduras and will be provided from DoD [Department of Defense] sources since these emergency requirements cannot be promptly met through other means. At 11:30 this morning, the President, having notified Congress in accordance with the law, signed and transmitted to the Secretary of State a Presidential determination authorizing release of the emergency assistance.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 12:10 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.