Middle East

Important Middle East Notes of Habib from Meeting between US & Lebanon

Important Middle East Notes of Habib from Meeting between US & Lebanon


This important document consists of Middle East special envoy Philip Habib’s abbreviated notes from a one-hour meeting between U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and President Amine Gemayel of Lebanon on July 5, 1983. At President Ronald Reagan’s initiative, this meeting was one of four Shultz had with leaders of three Arab nations and Israel in an attempt to get foreign troops out of Lebanon. When Gemayel was elected president in September 1982, Syria and Israel occupied two-thirds of Lebanon, with Syria in the north and east, and Israel in the south. Private armies independent of government control were in charge of most of the rest of the nation.


[LEBANON.] PHILIP C. HABIB, Autograph Notes of Shultz-Gemayel Meeting, July 5, 1983. 17 pp., 5.5" x 8.5". Top edges perforated; large paper clip indentation at top. Very good.



“S – Pres wanted me to gather the facts & then we see where we are”

“A – We also trying working w/ you / want to thank you & P Reag for support.... Pr R clear when [?] on tel. when he speaks of keeping momentum going & no reverse gear. We are ready to keep mom going.”

“W/yr support we can reach our goals together – with help of Pr R.”

“A – About part w/d / you said this is not an altern to us. I want to talk about Total w/d not part w/d.”

“Prob. diff – no push button sol, but need a common strategy to start working on that. Want to estab a structure to think of this prob before out Will be dangerous if I go to Wash w/ beging of sol.... Cant go to US & meet Pr R & come back w/o a bging of a sol or a common strategy to reach a sol.”

“S/.... Getting agmt from Isr to w/d was an essential step & a first step – not let go – bec. wants Isr to w/d”

“We dont want an Isr occupn So Leb & will cont to do so What can we do & how can we engage Syr.... Fahd remains engaged & Saud cont to suppt mtg & w/d Fahd said Syr are prep to talk Need to get Syr into broader dealing”

“need search for way to get you engaged w/Sharon – not sure how Saudis can be helpful – their style we know but they have a major carrot while not incl to use it as stick – maybe as carrot. Want keep Saudis involved”

“Saudis & other deeply conc abt extent of Sov penet in Syria / This one reason why Saudis inter. in see dealg betw US & Syr / So you asked our thinking & I have tried to tell you. I will go to D. today & tomorrow & then to Isr. will give you a full report”

“Murphy – keep King involved In meantime need plan for yr visit & using it as a way to demon. Strg rel betw you & Pre & support of US & to extent beyond that we can adv our [?].... You will be treated in a manner fully const w/ manner Begin is treated”


In 1982, the Israeli Defense Forces and allied Free Lebanon Army Christian militias seized parts of southern Lebanon, including the capital of Beirut. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had controlled much of the area since 1968.

On July 5, 1983, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz (b. 1920) met with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Syria, in an attempt to get all foreign forces withdrawn from Lebanon. He then traveled to Israel before returning to Washington. Shultz first met with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia (1921-2005) in Jeddah. He then flew to Lebanon, where he spent one hour with President Amine Gemayel (b. 1942) to discuss the issues of withdrawal by Syrian and Israeli forces. Shultz next went to Damascus, where Syrian Foreign Minister Abdul-Halim Khaddam greeted him and hosted a banquet for him. The following day, Shultz met with President Hafez al-Assad (1930-2000) of Syria.

The Damascus government had earlier refused to meet with special envoy Philip Habib to discuss the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon. Both Israel and Syria had insisted that the other nation withdraw its troops from Lebanon first.

Three months after Shultz and Habib’s visit to Beirut, suicide bombers attacked American and French barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers.

Between 1983 and 1985, Israel withdrew from parts of the occupied area, but remained in partial control of a border region known as the South Lebanon Security Belt. A few kilometers wide, the belt consisted of about 10 percent of the total territory of Lebanon with a population of approximately 150,000 people. In 1999 and 2000, Israeli forces withdrew completely from Lebanon, and the Sh’ite Hezbollah militant group quickly gained control of the area.

In 1991, Syria and Lebanon formed a Defense and Security Pact, and Syrian troops continued to occupy Lebanon. The assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in February 2005 led to the Cedar Revolution that forced Syria to withdraw from Lebanon two months later.


Philip C. Habib (1920-1992) was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in a Jewish neighborhood by Lebanese Maronite Catholic parents. He graduated from the University of Idaho in 1942 with a degree in forestry. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and rose to the rank of captain. After the war, he earned a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1952. He also took the Foreign Service examination and began a career with the United States Foreign Service in 1949. After service in Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, and South Vietnam, Habib served as chief of staff for the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace Talks from 1968 to 1971. He served as Ambassador to South Korea from 1971 to 1974. He then served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Public Affairs from 1974 to 1976 and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1976 to 1978, when a heart attack forced his resignation. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan called Habib out of retirement to serve as special envoy to the Middle East, where he negotiated a peace that allowed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to evacuate from the city of Beirut, which Israel had besieged. In 1986, Reagan sent Habib to the Philippines to convince Ferdinand Marcos to step down, and then to Central America to negotiate regarding conflict in Nicaragua. Habib supported Costa Rican president Óscar Arias’s peace plan focused on democratization, but Reagan refused to let him meet with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and Habib resigned. Habib died while on vacation in France, and the New York Times described him as “the outstanding professional diplomat of his generation in the United States.”


This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.



Item: 67303

Price: $1,200.00
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