Hostages’ Kin Seek Meeting With Reagan
As the ordeal of TWA Flight 847 dragged into its 12th day today, the families of 22 of the 40 hostages said they have banded together and are demanding a meeting with President Reagan by the end of the week.
Kelly Cullins of Burlington, Vt., whose husband, Thomas, is among those still in captivity, complained that Reagan has displayed a “laissez faire” attitude toward the situation.
“A President is the spokesman for the country. He has the responsibility to offer support and sympathy. . . . I think it’s incredibly irresponsible.”
Cullins said she sought to talk privately with the President. And like others who tried, she received a less-than-encouraging response.
22 Families Contacted
Jill Brown of Stow, Mass., whose husband, Robert, is being held in Beirut, said she has contacted families of 22 of the 40 men and they want a meeting with Reagan by Friday.
“It’s been 11 days now,” she told the New York Times on Monday, “and I think it’s deplorable that the White House hasn’t been in touch with us. I’m sick of hearing about saving face when we’re concerned about saving lives.”
Ex-hostage Bob Peel of Hutchinson, Kan., whose son is still being held by the hijackers, complained that he had not received a response to a telegram last weekend in which he urged Reagan to negotiate for release of the remaining 40 captives.
‘Important to Bend’
“As an American, a father and last hostage to leave the plane,” he said, “it’s more important to bend your strong policy than jeopardize 40 Americans, who are more important than your foreign policy, which has created hate (for) America.”
White House spokesman Larry Speakes said the families have received twice-a-day telephone updates from the State Department. And he contended the door to the Oval Office has not been slammed in their faces.