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        General Assembly
        Security Council

11 August 1997

Fifty-second session Fifty-second year
Item 155 of the provisional agenda*

Letter dated 11 August 1997 from the Permanent Representative of
Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

With reference to the letter dated 30 July 1997 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (S/1997/603) in reply to our letter requesting that the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon should be extended (S/1997/534), I should like to repeat some observations that I consider necessary in view of Israel's persistent flouting of the will of the international community, and its attempts to mislead and deceive public opinion.

1. The tense situation currently prevailing in southern Lebanon is a result of the Israeli occupation of part of that region. Were it not for that occupation, southern Lebanon would be peaceful and prosperous. In this context we must recall the brutal acts of aggression carried out on Lebanese territory by the Israelis on an almost daily basis, the bombardments by Israeli military aircraft, the use against civilians of proscribed weapons, the naval blockade of Lebanon's southern coast and the inhumane practices carried out against Lebanese citizens in the occupied area. This Mission has steadily supplied the Secretariat with periodic letters setting forth the dates and locations of such acts of aggression.

2. The occupying forces can in no way justify their military operations against Lebanon and the Lebanese people as self-defence. Acts of resistance are a natural response to the Israeli occupation of part of Lebanese territory; they are legitimate under the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and are intended to liberate national territory from foreign occupation.

3. The most appropriate way to restore peace and security to southern Lebanon is for Israel to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) which calls for Israel to withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory. This solution enjoys international support.

4. If Israel genuinely desires peace, it must withdraw from Lebanese territory, respect Lebanese sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized boundaries and refrain from any actions that violate that sovereignty or hinder the return of Lebanese Government authority over southern Lebanon.

5. Lebanon has, from the start, been bound by the principles informing the peace process and the 1991 Madrid conference. It has repeatedly called for the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). It has expressed its support for the resumption of negotiations in accordance with the principle of land for peace as part of a comprehensive and just resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and with the participation of all parties. However, the harsh policy pursued by the present Prime Minister of Israel since he came to power has led to the halting and freezing of negotiations and constitutes an impediment to further advancement of the peace process. The tense atmosphere currently prevailing in the region as a result of the Israeli Government's attitudes and its attempts to overturn everything that has been achieved by the peace process is the best indication as to who bears real responsibility for the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.

I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda item 155 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Samir MOUBARAK
Permanent Representative


*A/52/150 and Corr.1.


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