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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Hostage Situation in Lebanon


The President met at 5:30 this afternoon in the Cabinet Room with senior advisers concerning the hostage situation in Lebanon. The President received a briefing on the status of our knowledge of the situation. This was primarily an informational meeting at which all aspects of the case involving Colonel Higgins and the other hostages were discussed. Under Secretary [of State] Eagleburger discussed the United Nations resolution today which condemned hostagetaking.

Attending the meeting were the President, the Vice President, Secretary Cheney, Admiral Crowe [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], Under Secretary Eagleburger, Attorney General Thornburgh, CIA Director Webster, NSC adviser Scowcroft, Bob Gates [Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs], and Governor Sununu.

Note: Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, USMC, chief of the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, was kidnaped on February 17, 1988, and executed by pro-Iranian terrorists on July 31, 1989.

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