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137. Lebanon, we believe, has been and can be an independent, democratic State. As an independent, democratic State, under Article 51 of the Charter, Lebanon exercised its right to self-defence and to request others to assist in that self-defence for the purpose of reinforcing and maintaining its sovereignty and independence. The United States responded, as did others in the multinational force, to the request of the legitimate Government of Lebanon. We have had no purpose there except to assist in the restoration of the peace, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, and any suggestion to the contrary is at best profoundly misinformed.
138. Mr. KRAVETS (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) [interpretation from Russian]: The representative of the United States did not specify what the distortion made by the Ukrainian SSR with regard to the United States position was. That frees me from having to make a statement in exercise of the right of reply.
139. Mr. de La BARRE de NANTEUIL (France) [interpretation from French]: The Council has been unable to adopt the proposal we submitted to it. This is clearly an unfortunate outcome, particularly in the light of all the efforts made by several countries in the Council and by us.
140. It is an outcome which is not good for the United Nations. The Security Council is not fulfilling the mission entrusted to it under the Charter if it cannot reach a decision in these kinds of circumstances. It is precisely why we believed-and with us, the great majority of the Council-in a possible role for the United Nations that we submitted the proposal.
141. It is an outcome that is not good for Lebanon. I shall not refer again to the situation in Beirut, which is in the minds of all at the present time. I should merely like to say that our draft resolution was not intended to settle all the problems of peace in this region. Above all it was, in our eyes, a first step, a peace-making gesture intended to promote the emergence of a climate of reconciliation in Lebanon.
142. I should now like to thank all those delegations in this Council with which we have worked particularly closely these past three weeks. I thank the countries they represent, because those countries, like us, show faith in and make efforts towards the role the United Nations can play in helping achieve reconciliation and peace. I thank their representatives personally for their constant co-operation and I appreciated the qualities of clarity, courage, thoughtfulness, imagination and constancy that they demonstrated, a constancy which, with great rigour and dignity, they maintained throughout.
143. I thank all those who were kind enough to show their appreciation for my country's efforts and, naturally, I thank them also for the very kind words spoken about me and which touched me deeply.
144. My gratitude and that of my country finally, of course, go to all those who were kind enough to vote in favour of our proposal. It is encouraging for my country to have found such broad support for its proposal. It proves to us that the efforts we made were on the right track, even if they were not successful.
145. Certainly, my thoughts, our thoughts go to Lebanon, to that friendly country that is suffering, to those suffering people who have undergone indescribable trials and continue to do so. It is a country with which, everyone knows, we have traditional relations of friendships. We love Lebanon; we love its whole population; we love all who live there; and we rule out no one on the basis of religious persuasion or party. We are a friend to all the Lebanese, and we have been thinking about all the Lebanese and we continue to do so. They are the ones we were thinking about when we undertook this initiative; they are the ones we are thinking about and we shall always continue to think about.
146. The PRESIDENT: The representative of Lebanon has asked to make a statement, and I call on him.
147. Mr. FAKHOURY. (Lebanon) [interpretation from Arabic]: Mr. President, the delegation of Lebanon, while appreciating the efforts made by you personally and by the representative of France and other representatives, regrets that for the second time in a few months the Council has been unable to take a decision that could play a part, albeit a partial and a limited one, in putting an end to a situation that all the Council members have recognized as being very serious, indeed tragic. That tragedy has befallen Lebanon, one of the founding Members of the United Nations. The international community, through the Council, has a great responsibility, not only vis-a-vis the Lebanese people but also vis-a-vis the peoples of the world: that of the guarantor of international peace and security. It is indeed a bitter disappointment for all those peoples who, at the most dire moments of their history, look towards effective assistance and help from the Council in overcoming the crises confronting them.
148. Despite our disappointment and regret, the delegation of Lebanon in turn appeals to the Council to ponder the positions taken today. We appeal to the Council to give consideration and respond positively without fail, and as soon as possible, to any new initiative which is in keeping with the seriousness of the situation throughout Lebanon and by means of which the Council may be able to fulfil the tasks entrusted to it under the Charter.
149. The PRESIDENT: There are no further names inscribed on the list of speakers for this meeting. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda.