DUBLIN, Ireland -- President Reagan called Friday for a peaceful solution to the Ulster problem, but said it was not up to the United States to 'chart a course' for such a solution.
In a letter to Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald, Reagan said a solution to the problems of Ulster can only be found through reconciliation, a U.S. official said.
The official told reporters the letter was delivered Friday by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Clark, who is making a three-day visit to Ireland after speaking with British officials in London.
Clark, who met with Foreign Secretary James Dooge, said: 'I regard the meeting as significant, although I do not see it as a new American initiative.'
The U.S. official said Reagan condemned terrorism and violence in his letter and called for a peaceful solution to end the strife between the province's majority Protestant and minority Catholic communities.
Reagan welcomed the efforts of the Irish and British governments in seeking a settlement, and said a solution must 'come from the people.'
The official said Reagan invited FitzGerald to lunch with him at the White House next St. Patrick's day.
Clark arrived aboard a U.S. military plane from London Friday morning with his wife Rosalie and assistant secretary of state for European affairs Lawrence Eagleburger.
Earlier Friday, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said Clark's visit was 'to establish informative contacts.'
The spokesman said the visit had 'no real significance' and did not indicate that Clark had any special responsiblity for Irish affairs. He said Clark, who met British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior and other officials in London, had taken the opportunity to accept long-standing invitations to visit Britain and Ireland.
Clark is the most important U.S. official to visit Dublin recently and Irish observers viewed his visit as an important one.