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UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
Distr.
GENERAL
S/17553
9 October 1985

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

LETTER DATED 8 OCTOBER 1985 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE
OF MALTA TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT
OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL

I have the honour to transmit herewith a statement issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta regarding the Israeli aggression against the Republic of Tunisia.

I should be grateful if you would arrange for this statement to be circulated as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) V. J. GAUCI
Ambassador
Permanent Representative


Annex

STATEMENT BY THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALTA

In our view what happened this morning is very grave to us as a Maltese nation and to all the peoples in the neighbouring countries of the North Africa. This morning fighter bombers of the Israel Air Force attacked a territory of a neighbouring country, a friendly nation - Tunisia. A number of Tunisian and Palestinian civilians were killed.

This act not only gives rise to our concern but, on the basis of contacts and reports reaching us, we join others in strongly condemning this aggressive act against a country far removed from the centre of conflict, a friendly country and a staunch ally of Malta, and against the heroic people of Palestine, to whom we have always given support in their quest for an independent homeland.

This incident should also open the eyes of all Maltese to the consequential perils of this act OK aggression against Tunisian territory and against Tunisian and Palestinian people.

In the face of this serious act of aggression, and taking into account the geographic distance which separates Israel from Tunisia, we have to remain constantly alert and to co-operate with those who are searching not only for those responsible for this horrible act but also for those who may have assisted in its execution.

It seems impossible that this act was carried out by a single country from its own territory - that is, from Israel. It is clear that assistance was also provided. Everyone should therefore help to apprehend the perpetrators of this offence against basic human norms, international law and basic moral principles; those responsible should be apprehended.

I would like to add that the Maltese Government not only condemns what has happened but would also point out the dangers of such acts of aggressions and of allowing the conflict in the Middle East to spread to North Africa. We join other non-aligned countries who wish to ensure that similar acts of international piracy, such as this one, carried out by a country which took the law into its own hands, do not spread and engulf others and that such acts are not repeated.

We also feel that the Security Council should take the necessary measures so that such acts will not be carried out on territories of other countries.

We would also like to take this opportunity, and through the Tunisian Embassy in Malta, to extend our sympathy to those families who suffered casualties and to those families who suffered injury by the Israeli attack.

In conclusion, we cannot accept any type of exception or justification for any country to take the law into its own hands in such a manner, or for any other country to condone or excuse such aggression. The facts available simply do not allow of such excuses.
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