Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Situation in the Falkland Islands

April 2, 1982

Our situation report indicates the Argentine Government now claims to have occupied the Falkland Islands and such others as the South Georgias and South Shetlands. The British Government acknowledges that an invasion has taken place, but we have no information other than conflicting reports on fighting or casualties.

We have made clear to the Government of Argentina that we deplore use of force to resolve this dispute. We have called on Argentina to cease, immediately, hostilities, and to withdraw its military forces from the Falkland Islands.

We are continuing to work bilaterally -- and in multilateral forums such as the United Nations -- to obtain a cessation of hostilities and a withdrawal.

Because of our concern over the tensions between Argentina and the United Kingdom, the United States Government welcomes and strongly supports the statement by the President of the U.N. Security Council, made yesterday on behalf of the Council. We fully endorse the Council's call for the exercise of utmost restraint at this time, the avoidance of the use or threat of force in the region, and for the continuation of the search for a diplomatic solution.

Note: Deputy Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at the daily news briefing, which began at approximately 12:40 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.

Mr. Speakes informed reporters that the President telephoned the President of Argentina last night and spoke with him, through interpreters, for approximately 50 minutes. The President learned of the invasion this morning, shortly after 7 a.m., and received continuous updates throughout the morning.