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27 October 1989
Agenda item 37
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Report of the Secretary-General
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 43/54 of 6 December 1988 in order to inform the General Assembly of the steps taken by the Secretary-General to fulfil the requests addressed to him in that resolution to report on various aspects of the agenda item entitled "The situation in the Middle East".
2. In paragraph 15 of resolution 43/54 A, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council periodically on the development of the situation and to submit to the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session a comprehensive report covering the developments in the Middle East in all their aspects. That report will be submitted separately at a later date as a document of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
3. In resolution 43/54 B, which deals with Israeli policies in the territory of the Syrian Arab Golan occupied by Israel since 1967, and in resolution 43/54 C, which deals with the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478 (1980), the General Assembly called upon all States to adopt a number of measures concerning relations with Israel, and called upon the States concerned to abide by the provisions of the relevant Assembly resolutions. In order to fulfil his reporting responsibility under the above-mentioned resolutions, the Secretary-General, in May 1989, addressed notes verbales to the Permanent Representative of Israel and to the Permanent Representatives of the other Member States and requested them to inform him of any steps their Governments had taken or envisaged taking concerning implementation of the relevant provisions of those resolutions. As at 23 October 1989, replies had been received from Japan, Nigeria and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Those replies are reproduced in section II of the present report.
II. REPLIES RECEIVED FROM MEMBER STATES
[4 August 1989]
1. On 6 January 1989, a spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on the deportation of Palestinians from Israeli-occupied territories:
"Despite the strong appeals made to Israel by international society including Japan, no improvement has been made in the serious situation since December 1987 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Israeli occupation, and the number of victims continues to increase. Japan condemns the deportation of 13 more Palestinians by the Israeli Government on January 1 from the occupied territories, as this act is in defiance of Japan's appeal and of international condemnation, including Security Council resolutions, and makes the situation in the occupied territories still worse. Japan is seriously concerned about this measure in that it goes against the recent trend toward peace, including the initiation of dialogue between the United States and the Palestine Liberation Organization."
2. On 4 July 1989 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a démarche to the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo concerning the deportation of Palestinians:
"Despite the strong and repeated appeals made to Israel by international society including Japan, the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Israeli occupation does not show any signs of improvement, in fact it has been deteriorating.
"Japan strongly condemns the deportation of eight more Palestinians by Israeli authority on 29 June from the occupied territories to southern Lebanon.
"Japan reiterates its appeal to Israel to abide by the relevant Security Council resolutions and other international laws and regulations, and to take appropriate measures to prevent the situation there from being aggravated further, including allowing deported people to return to their homes."
[29 July 1989]
1. The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not have diplomatic relations with the State of Israel.
2. The Government of Nigeria does not have overt or covert dealings in the military, economic, financial or technological spheres with the State of Israel that could assist the latter in pursuing its aggressive policies against Arab countries and the Palestinian people.
3. Nigeria does not acquire military equipment or weapons from Israel; neither does it have trade nor cultural relations with the State of Israel.
4. Nigeria voted positively on the resolution in question, which attests to its commitment to peace in the Middle East, and has also, on various occasions, called for an international peace conference on the Middle East.
UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS
[19 October 1989]
1. The Soviet Union invariably advocates a comprehensive political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict founded on balancing the interests of all the parties involved.
2. The basic elements of the Soviet view of such a settlement correspond to the relevant United Nations decisions, in particular General Assembly resolutions 43/54 A to C, which the Soviet Union actively supported.
3. Current trends in world and regional development require a broader view to be taken of the problem of the peaceful reconstruction of the Middle East. For it is obvious that the region is being militarized at top speed and saturated with the most modern and destabilizing types of weapons, including missiles and chemical weapons. There is a very real danger that at some stage the Middle East may become a brake on the processes of renewal that have started in the world. Other alarming trends are also evident in the economic, humanitarian, demographic, national and religious spheres.
4. In these circumstances, the Soviet-Union has put forward a complete scheme for normalizing the situation in the Middle East, which was set out in condensed form in a speech by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, E. A. Shevardnadze, at Cairo in February 1989.
5. According to this scheme, the efforts to prepare an international conference and set the peace process moving must be supplemented by parallel steps to overcome the aforementioned negative trends, especially as regards the arms race. The most important aim in this process is to turn the region away from confrontation and instability and towards security and good-neighbourliness. That should become a subject for active discussions among all the interested parties right away.
6. As for the problems of organizing the peace process itself, new and positive developments are in evidence. The new, constructive and realistic attitude of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the general inclination of the Arab States to reach a settlement by political means are of decisive significance. The world has also reached broad consensus in favour of an international conference on the Middle East. All the permanent members of the Security Council are agreed in principle on the idea of convening such a meeting.
7. In our view, the preparatory stage could be comprehensive and take many forms. The United Nations, with its great peace-making potential, is called upon to play a major role.
8. The Soviet Union is engaged in active contacts with the participants in the conflict - the Arab parties and Israel. In order to assist in starting a dialogue and finding mutually acceptable compromise solutions, the Soviet Union recently proposed the initiative of holding a meeting between representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Israel on Soviet territory.
9. Many ideas and proposals have been put forward recently aimed at getting the peace process in the Middle East moving. The task now - and it is an urgent one - is to reduce all these ideas and proposals to a common denominator that is acceptable to all parties. A useful role could be played in this process by working consultations among the five permanent members of the Security Council, and involving also representatives of the parties directly involved in the conflict.
10. The Soviet Union is prepared to continue co-operating actively with all the parties and with the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the United Nations in a constructive search for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East, and for the convening of an international conference for this purpose in accordance with United Nations resolutions.