Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the American Hostages in Lebanon


November 10, 1986


The President today met with his senior national security advisers regarding the status of the American hostages in Lebanon. The meeting was prompted by the President's concern for the safety of the remaining hostages and his fear that the spate of speculative stories which have arisen since the release of David Jacobsen may put them and others at risk.


During the meeting, the President reviewed ongoing efforts to achieve the release of all the hostages, as well as our other broad policy concerns in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. As has been the case in similar meetings with the President and his senior advisers on this matter, there was unanimous support for the President. While specific decisions discussed at the meeting cannot be divulged, the President did ask that it be reemphasized that no U.S. laws have been or will be violated and that our policy of not making concessions to terrorists remains intact.


At the conclusion of the meeting, the President made it clear to all that he appreciated their support and efforts to gain the safe release of all the hostages. Stressing the fact that hostage lives are at stake, the President asked his advisers to ensure that their departments refrain from making comments or speculating about these matters.