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Reagan-Thatcher bond tested by war - archives say

Friday, December 28, 2012 - 01:38

Dec. 28 - Documents released by the UK's National Archives show strong ties between former British PM Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan during the Falklands conflict. Sunita Rappai reports.

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Their famously 'special' relationship defined a decade: Former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the tough-talking grocer's daughter from Grantham and U.S President Ronald Reagan, the smooth California movie star-turned-politician. Newly declassified files from the UK's 1982 archives offer fresh glimpses into their - sometimes strained - partnership, at a time when Britain was waging war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands or Las Malvinas. In this letter, Thatcher, nicknamed the Iron Lady at home, tells Reagan "you are the only person who will understand … what I am trying to say." Elsewhere, she stressed their special relationship as she requests Reagan's help, signing off with 'warm personal regards.' But in other documents she describes the famously uncomplicated Reagan as 'vague' and knowing much less than he seems to." The files provide particular insights into the first and only female British PM's feelings as the country went to war. Despite losing several warships, the British eventually reclaimed the South Atlantic islands 74 days later - with help from the United States which the US insisted remain secret according to a letter in the files. Marked 'secret' and 'confidential', the 6000 files also lift the curtain on Thatcher's political manouevring during other key events of 1982, including the Iran-Iraq war and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

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Reagan-Thatcher bond tested by war - archives say

Friday, December 28, 2012 - 01:38