WASHINGTON — President Reagan said Thursday that his predecessor, Jimmy Carter, now on a tour of the Middle East, is not carrying a message from him to Syria in an effort to free foreigners held hostage in Lebanon.
But, he said at his news conference, he would be grateful if Carter made an effort to obtain their freedom during a visit to Damascus this weekend.
Syria last month sent troops into West Beirut, widely believed to be the headquarters of groups holding about 25 foreigners, including eight Americans.
When asked if Carter plans an effort to free them, Reagan said: "I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if he was and I would be grateful if he did."