Reagan Library releases video of meeting with former president Gemayel

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan met with former Lebanese President Amine Gemayel on December 1, 1983. (The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute)

The Reagan Presidential Library released vintage video of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan meeting with former Lebanese President Amine Gemayel.

When the White House hosted the Lebanese President, Reagan was nearing the end of his first term in office while Gemayel was only in his second of six years.

“Our talks today focused on the next steps in securing Lebanon’s independence,” Reagan said during the 1983 meeting.

Many consider the relationship between the two presidents one of the most extensive and personal of any administrations between the two countries.

The meeting took place just a few months before the Beirut barracks bombings, which killed 241 U.S. and 58 French peacekeepers.

Gemayel visited the White House again in December 1983, where he met with Reagan for a second time.

READ: White House daily schedule on the day of Gemayel’s visit to the White House.

“My second visit to the White House in the course of the year is a further confirmation for our appreciation for the consistent support President Reagan has given Lebanon,” Gemayel said at the time.

Watch the footage released here:

READ: Reagan’s diary entry on the day of Gemayel’s second visit to the White House:

Most of N.S.C. spent on getting ready for visit by Pres. Gemayal of Lebanon. But also on whether to step up our artillery fire on Druze batteries lobbying shells in the direction of our Marines. So far we haven’t done anything. We’re a divided group. I happen to believe taking out a few batteries might give them pause to think. Joint Chiefs believe it might drastically alter our mission & lead to major increases in troops for Lebanon. Met with Gemayal & his cabinet. We emphasized need to work harder for expanding govt. to include some dissident groups. He made a good case that Syria has a block on the main factions. Cabinet Council on “space” & where we go. The issue is whether to move on a program for a permanent manned Space station. I’m for it as I think most everyone is but the question is funding such a new course in face of our deficits. Dave Stockman who opposed my signing the dairy bill came in to brief me on how the bill came to be and how may Reps. & Sens. broke their word on concessions they’d promised in return for the bill. I was never told any of this while it was going on. We’ll have to have a different procedure so this cant happen again. Nancy & I went to Shiloh Baptist Church for P.B.S. Young talent taping. Leontyne Price was mistress of ceremonies. Howard U. choir & young black singers were magnificent. It was a great finish to the day.

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