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Held at Headquarters, New York,
On Friday, 11 October 1985, at 3.30 p.m.
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council.
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, within one week, to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
The meeting was called to order at 4.15 p.m.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was adopted.
THE MIDDLE EAST QUESTION INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Kaddoumi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took a place at the Council table; Mr. Zarif (Afghanistan), Mr. Djoudi (Algeria), Mr. Choudhury (Bangladesh), Mr. Cesar (Czechoslovakia), Mr. Al-Alfi (Democratic Yemen), Mr. Ott (German Democratic Republic), Mr. Sutress (Indonesia) Mr. Bein (Israel), Mr. Abulhasan (Kuwait), Mr. Alaoui (Morocco), Mr. Yaqub-Khan (Pakistan), Mr. El-Fattal (Syrian Arab Republic) and Mr. Golob (Yugoslavia) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber
The PRESIDENT; I should like to inform the Council that I have receive letters from the representatives of Cuba and Jordan in which they request to he invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. In accordance with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Oramus Oliva (Cuba) and Mr. Salahtook the places reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
The PRESIDENT; The Security Council will now resume its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The first speaker is the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Mr. Humayun Rasheed Doudhury. I welcome him and invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. CHOUDHURY (Bangladesh): Mr. President, it is a privilege for me and as members of my delegation to take part in this important debate and I wish to thank you and the other members of the Council for giving us this opportunity
My delegation has already had the privilege of congratulating you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of October. During the past few days, we have seen ample evidence of your leadership and diplomatic skill, which reinforces our firm conviction that, under your able guidance, the Council will achieve fruitful and constructive results.
It is most befitting that the Security Council should, during this historic month of October, which marks the observance of the fortieth anniversary of the Nations, be deliberating upon an important issue like the Middle East including the Palestinian question. No other issue in contemporary history has been discussed and deliberated upon so extensively, and yet the problem remains unresolved and continues to threaten international peace and security.
The current Security Council deliberations on this important issue are taking place in pursuance of the decision taken at the recently concluded Conference of Foreign Ministers of Non-Aligned Countries held in Luanda, Angola. India, in its Opacity as the Chairman of our movement, has called for the convening of this meeting, and we fully support that initiative.
The Security Council has shown exemplary determination during the past week in dealing with the two latest acts of aggression by Israel and South Africa against Tunisia and Angola, respectively. It is our sincere hope and expectation that the Council will demonstrate the same determination and political will in dealing the important question currently on its agenda.
The present explosive situation in the Middle East is a direct consequence of Historic injustice, perpetrated when the Palestinian people were forcibly uprooted from their hearths and homes and an alien people were virtually imposed upon the Arab world through the creation of Israel. That newly-created State from outset adopted an aggressive and hostile policy against the Palestinian people and its Arab neighbours. In violation of all canons of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, Israel, on the pretext of waging so-called defensive wars has carried out a series of acts of aggression and has occupied huge Arab territories. Despite repeated calls by the General Assembly and the Security Council, Israel has refused to vacate the occupied Arab and Palestinian lands.
All the efforts of the United Nations to bring justice to the suffering i Palestinian and Arab people have been arrogantly and blatantly rejected by Israel, which has openly flouted the will of the international community. At the same time, Israel has further intensified its policy of relentless expansion and occupation directed against its Arab neighbours with a view to changing the Arab and Palestinian character of the occupied territories. In clear contravention of the Geneva Conventions, the Palestinian and Arab people living in the occupied territories have been persecuted, terrorized and denied their basic fundamental rights.
Israeli attempts to annex the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights and change their status, have been unequivocally condemned by the international community and have been declared null and void. Israel committed an act of aggression against Iraq in 1981, and invaded Lebanon in 1982. At the beginning of the present month, Israel, in violation of all norms of international law and of the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, unleashed yet mother act of aggression, against the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Tunisia, a country which is more than 1,500 miles from its borders. Israel's latest aggression is yet another manifestation of its relentless drive to eliminate the Palestinian people and their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
The acts of aggression committed by Israel against its Arab neighbours cannot be justified on any moral or legal basis. Nor can we accept the Israeli argument that Israel has the right to attack any State at any time on the pretext of the self-conceived notion of its defense considerations. We must firmly oppose the propagation of such a new doctrine of State terrorism, the only purpose of which is to continue to acquire new territories through acts of aggression.
In my statement in the General Assembly I said that the international community, and particularly the United Nations, has been concerned with the problem of international terrorism for some time now. However, no concrete and effective action has yet been taken by us to put a stop to these criminal acts which take a heavy toll of innocent human lives, at the same time threatening international peace and security. Recent terrorist acts have again reaffirmed the need for concerted action by the international community. Bangladesh condemns terrorism in ill its forms, whenever and by whomsoever committed. Terrorism begets terrorism. No noble and purposeful objective can be achieved through terrorist acts. We therefore very strongly urge that some initiative be taken in that regard at the present session of the General Assembly.
It is now universally recognized that the question of Palestine is at the core of the problem of the Middle East and that consequently it is not possible to envisage a settlement of the problems in the Middle East unless the legitimate inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people are fully restored. Bangladesh, in the past, has reiterated its firm conviction that the complex and interrelated problems in the Middle East call for a comprehensive solution which based on total and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Palestinian and Arab territories, including the Holy City of Jerusalem, and the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people under the ship Of the PLO, their sole legitimate representative.
The developments in the Middle East have also demonstrated beyond any shadow doubt that the problems in the region can be solved only through a concerted international effort under the auspices of the United Nations. My delegation, therefore, attaches particular importance to the early convening of the proposed international peace conference on the Middle East, and we fully appreciate the Secretary-General's current initiative to that end.
The Arab peace plan, which my delegation fully supports as a sound basis for a comprehensive solution of the problem, as well as other plans which have been submitted recently, are already before the international community. What is needed now to initiate the peace process is the generation of the necessary political Kill, particularly on the part of the major Powers which are in a position to influence developments in the region. The most recent developments in the Middle East have once again reminded us of the grave and explosive situation which prevails in that region. Any further delay in starting the peace process might trigger a totally unmanageable crisis, making it more difficult, if not impossible, to restore peace in the Middle East.
It is unfortunate that while the international community is making a determined effort to restore peace in the region Israel has undertaken a systematic effort to thwart the peace process. In the face of a growing international consensus in favour of the Arab and Palestinian cause, Israel has once again resorted to the use of force to heighten tension in the region with a view to frustrating the current international effort to resolve peacefully the problems in the Middle East. We commend all those who in the face of such unprovoked aggression and relentless expansion have demonstrated the utmost restraint, and have made every possible effort to try and bring about a durable peace in the Middle East.
The Security Council - particularly its permanent members - has a special risibility to bring peace in the Middle East. The failure of the Council in the to ensure implementation of its own decisions and resolutions has only encouraged Israel to intensify its policies of aggression against the Palestinian people and its Arab neighbours, thereby threatening international peace and security. It is our sincere hope that the Council, during the present deliberations, will show foresight and wisdom in dealing with one of the most explosive issues of our times.
At the historic commemorative session of the Council, held on 6 September 1985, all members agreed that there was an urgent need to enhance the effectiveness of the Security Council in carrying out its principal role in the maintenance of international peace and security and also resolved to continue to examine the possibilities of further improvement of its functioning. My delegation believes that that spirit should guide the current Council deliberations on the adoption of effective, concrete measures for the initiation of the peace process in the Middle East.
The observance of the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations will be over in a matter of weeks. The occasion is indeed historic and we are confident that the Council will not fail history.
The PRESIDENT; I thank the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh for the kind words he addressed to the Council and to me.
The next speaker is the representative of the German Democratic Republic. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. OTT (German Democratic Republic): I have already had the opportunity to extend to you, Sir, the congratulations of my delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Council. I should like to thank you, and through you other members of the Council, for giving me the opportunity to explain the position of the German Democratic Republic on the subject under consideration today.
We noted with deep satisfaction that at its meeting at Foreign Minister level, held a few weeks ago to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations, the Council reaffirmed the urgent need to do everything possible to enhance its effectiveness in preserving world peace and international security.
Particularly in our nuclear and space age, it is imperative to settle international conflicts through negotiation, by exclusively peaceful means. That is especially true of the settlement of the Middle East conflict, at the core of which is the question of Palestine.
The delegation of the German Democratic Republic shares the view that it is high time to end the permanent state of tension in the region and to bring about a just and lasting peace. Accordingly, it welcomes the timely initiative taken by the non-aligned countries at the Conference of Foreign Ministers held in September 1985 concerning the convening of this series of meetings of the Security Council.
The debates over the past few days and weeks in various United Nations bodies have underlined the deep concern of the overwhelming majority of representatives over the explosive situation in the Middle East and its adverse consequences for world peace and international security. This is only natural, since the international community has witnessed the escalation of the policy of State terrorism pursued by those in the ruling Israeli circles against the people of Palestine and the Arab States.
That policy of disregarding all the norms of international law and the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter is made manifest in the outrages of the Israeli aggressors in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories and by the acts of aggression perpetrated against Lebanon and Tunisia, acts which are resolutely condemned by the German Democratic Republic.
Therefore, it has been pointed out time and again in the Council that it is Israel's policy of aggression which forms the main obstacle to a comprehensive, just and durable settlement of the Middle East and Palestinian question. It is the Israeli rulers who, in defiance of numerous United Nations resolutions, deny the Palestinian people the exercise of its inalienable rights, especially the right to establish a State of its own. And it is also they who obstruct the convening of the international conference on peace in the Middle East called for by the overwhelming majority of States Members of the United Nations in resolution 38/58 C. There can also be no doubt that in its actions Israel enjoys the unqualified support of the main imperialist Power. United in the so-called strategic alliance, the United States and Israel seek to involve the Arab region to an ever greater extent in imperialism's global confrontation course to expand its military presence and to extend the range of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations to that part of the world.
A constituent part of the imperialist attempt to gain domination in the Middle East region, which is so sensitive for world peace, is the policy of separate deals. Its aim is to remove the Middle East and Palestinian question from the agenda and to perpetuate the occupation of Arab territories, in violation of international law. It is but a futile attempt to deceive the Palestinian people and to deprive it for ever of its national rights. Such plans and practices must be halted. Joint, resolute action by all peace process becomes ever more imperative. Therefore, the German Democratic Republic becomes the efforts to enhance the joint, cohesive action of all patriotic Arab forces, on the basis of the Fez Peace Plan.
The German Democratic Republic is acting in line with the overwhelming majority of States when, in accordance with United Nations resolutions, it strongly advocates the convening of an international conference on the Middle East, with the participation of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. For the conference to be successful, the first requirement is a constructive approach by all the permanent members of the Security Council. Israel and the United States are again called upon no longer to block the early convening of a Middle East peace conference.
The German Democratic Republic expresses its hope that the Security Council will take the measures required for the early convening of the international Middle East peace conference.
A comprehensive, just and durable settlement of the Middle East conflict requires recognition of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people-including its right to establish an independent State of its own. Israel must withdraw unconditionally from all Arab territories occupied since 1967. Only the" can peace and security be guaranteed for all States and peoples in the Middle East
Proceeding from this position, the German Democratic Republic supports the Soviet Union's proposals of July 1984, which coincide with the Fez Peace Plan, as the way to a comprehensive, just and durable solution to the Palestinian problem. It reaffirms in this forum that it will continue consistently to support the struggle of the Palestinian people led by the Palestine Liberation Organization for implementation of their national rights.
The PRESIDENT; I thank the representative of the German Democratic Republic for the kind words he addressed to the Council and to me.
Mr. TROYANOVSKY (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): It would be difficult to find a representative international forum that has not in recent times given close attention to the problem of the Middle East. The Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Luanda in September, was no exception. It is precisely at the request of the parties to that Conference that the Security Council is once again taking up the problem of the Middle East.
The concern of the non-aligned States and many other States at the turn of events in the Middle East is well founded. For many years now, the Middle East wound has been bleeding, expanding and affecting wider areas. In the period since the Second World War the Middle East has become one of the most dangerous spots on earth. Naturally, the Soviet Union very closely monitors the course of events in that part of the world, which is in direct proximity to our boundaries. We are not only monitoring those events, but are acting with a great sense of responsibility to ensure that the situation in the region does not eventually get out of control. We are seeking and shall continue to seek a political approach to a general and last settlement of the situation in the Middle East.
Why is there a constant, general threat not only to the international peace and security of the peoples that inhabit that part of the world but to peace in general? And what essentially needs to be done in order to break the present deadlock concerning a Middle East settlement? Obviously, it is precisely to get answers to those questions that the Security Council is now meeting.
The reasons for the persistence of the hotbed of tension in the Middle East seem to us to be abundantly clear. They can be seen to be rooted in the aggressive and expansionist policy of the Israeli leadership.
In the past four decades almost, the Middle East has experienced five destructive and bloody wars. Today, the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank of the Jordan, the Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and southern Lebanon are still under occupation.
The main victim of Israeli expansionism has been the Arab people of Palestine. The ruling circles in Tel Aviv are trying to thwart any decision of the United Nations to create two States in Palestine and are attempting forcibly to remove the question of Palestine from the agenda. It is appropriate to remind people again and again that Israel owes its very existence to a decision taken by this Organization, and that that self-same decision also envisages the formation of an Arab State in Palestine.
The practical activities of the Israeli leadership unquestionably indicate one thing: that flouting the rights of other peoples, terror and violence have been deliberately raised to the level of State policy. Such a policy is in blatant contradiction of the Charter of the United Nations, the fundamental norms of international law and inter-State relations and numerous resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly.
As the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union said at the present session of the General Assembly:
"Only chauvinistic arrogance could lead anyone to deny the Palestinian people their right to independent statehood while recognizing that right for the people of Israel. All peoples and nations have equal rights." (A/40/PV.6, p. 68)
The struggle that the Arabs have had to wage has not been an easy one. Again an again it has shown the importance of the close interaction of the Arab countries and their solidarity. The strength of the Arabs lies in their unity, and their weakness in being divided. Past and present experience indicates that.
Experience, including the unfortunate lessons learned from Camp David, also indicates that the complex and multifaceted problems of the Middle East cannot be tackled on the basis of separate deals. Although even today we see attempts to prompt the Arabs to undertake separate agreements with the aggressor, this is a myopic policy and is fraught with the danger of possibly further complicating the situation in the area.
Only the collective method of untying the Gordian knot of contradictions in the Middle East will provide genuine prospects of establishing lasting peace throughout that vast area, in which, in the last few decades, there has been so much hostility, mistrust and suspicion.
There is a growing conviction in the world that the best way of reaching a comprehensive, just settlement in the Middle Bast is through the convening of an international conference, with the participation of all the parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization and, among other States, the Soviet Union and the United States.
It can be said that a State's attitude to the idea of the convening of such a conference has become more or less a criterion of the seriousness of its approach to a peaceful settlement in the Middle East. This is indicated, in particular, by the resolutions adopted by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly, which show that there is broad international agreement that the only effective way to ensure a radical solution of the Middle East problem is through talks at an international conference on the Middle East.
Unfortunately, an obstructionist position regarding the convening of an international conference continues to be taken by both the United States and Israel. They are thus obviously creating the impression that they are not anxious to improve the situation in the Middle East, not anxious that its peoples should return to normal, peaceful life.
Unlike this policy, the Soviet Union holds the firm position that the Middle East cannot be brought to peace by means of a policy of force or by imposing on the conflicting parties something which is alien to their will, we have to try and seek a political solution to this problem. It has to be a comprehensive solution which takes account of the interests of all countries in the area. It is this sort of large-scale programme for a comprehensive Middle East settlement which we find in the Soviet proposals which are primarily based on the premise that the principle of the inadmissibility of seizing foreign lands by aggression should be observed. Consequently, the Arabs should have all the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 returned to them.
It is essential that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, whose sole legitimate representative is the Palestine Liberation Organization, be guaranteed in practice; their right to self-determination and to create their own state in the lands which are freed from Israeli occupation. All States in the area, including, of course, Israel, should be guaranteed the right to a secure and independent existence and development, while observing full mutuality. An end would be put to the state of war, and peace should be established between the Arab States and Israel.
Finally, it is proposed that international safeguards be provided for settling the Middle East problem. The Soviet union is prepared to be involved in those guarantees. Those are the fundamental principles which in the. opinion of the Soviet Union a just Middle East settlement should be based. As a means of bringing about, it is proposed that an international conference be convened with the participation of the Arab countries which border on Israel, namely Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, the Palestine Liberation Organization and also Israel itself .Naturally, the Soviet Union and the United States should also be participants in the conference - two States which by dint of the situation which has arisen, play an important part in Mid-East affairs, and certain other countries as well.
As the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mr. Gorbachev, said:
"Everything that is happening in the Middle East alarms us. And we have never remained outside attempts to seek a settlement of the situation in the Middle East on a just basis."
The Soviet Union has frequently indicated its readiness to co-operate constructively with all those who are sincerely concerned in bringing about a just and durable peace in the Middle East. We should like to reiterate this readiness here today in the Security Council.
The PRESIDENT; The next speaker inscribed on my list is Mr. Clovis Maksoud, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, to whom the Council extended an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure at the 2,620th meeting.
I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. MAKSOUD; Mr. President, I should like to express the appreciation of the League of Arab States for the kind invitation you have extended to me, and through you, to the members of the Council.
The meeting of this Council has as its objective to try and bring about an input into the thinking of how best to exhaust the political and diplomatic option which the mechanism of the United Nations can provide in order that we can minimize violence, terrorism, occupation and the drain on the credibility of the United Nations, the credibility of the prospects for peace and the hemorrhaging of the blood of the peoples of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and all the peoples in the Middle East.
I come here today before this Council somewhat saddened by the events of the recent few days, which was made more poignant this morning with the murder of a very distinguished American of Palestinian origin, Mr. Alex Odeh, in Santa Ana, California. He was the Director of the American Anti-Arab Discrimination Committee in the region of California. I feel deeply hurt not only as a citizen of the world or as an Arab or somebody who has been very helpful in the struggle against discrimination. But I feel that the rhetoric of vengeance that has been prevalent and the recklessness of the utterances that have been made in recent days, and more particularly by the Israeli representatives here and in Israel, have generated an atmosphere of permissiveness towards violence that must cause us to focus again on root issues in the Middle East.
Basically, we believe in non-violence because we feel that violence as a plan of coercion is a negation of non-violence as a practice of persuasion. If there has been justified agitation and anger at the demise of Mr. Klinghoffer, whose circumstances of death are abominable, unspeakable and condemnable, I hope that equally the murder today of Alex Odeh in Santa Ana, California, will evoke similar sympathy and concern.
Having said this, I think that the main purpose of the deliberations in this Council is to bring the mechanism of the United Nations to bear and see whether it is Possible to resolve the crisis in the Middle East.
We believe in negotiations, whether direct or indirect. Yet we do not believe in negotiations that tend, because of the occupation, to be transformed into a way of dictating the terms and the outcome. Hence, our option for the political diplomatic settlement through the United Nations mechanism is clear, categorical and deliberate. It has the approval of all the Arab States, as that approval has been articulated in the resolutions of the Arab League Summit Conference in Fez in 1982.
Hence, our commitment is obvious. We want the United Nations Security Council to be utilized for the achievement of a peaceful political and diplomatic solution to the issues arising from the Arab-Israeli conflict. We are committed to that.
Furthermore, our region is now at the boiling point, and so every incident and every accident in any part of the Arab world is harnessed and used by Israel to gloss over the central issue: the denial to the Palestinians of their right to self-determination. Israel now uses every incident as a prior pretext for subsequent violations and acts of aggression. For instance, we have in recent days seen Israel trying to pinpoint a fringe group which uses reckless tactics and making allegations about the relationship of that fringe group to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is recognized by the United Nations and has observer status there and which is a full member of the League of Arab States. Israel thereby wishes to make the lives and institutions of all Palestinians everywhere in the Arab world vulnerable.
Thus, the systematic television and radio propaganda campaign by Israeli officials during the past few days is a deliberate attempt to picture the aberration that took place on the ship in the Mediterranean as part of a pattern characteristic of the mainstream Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This deliberate, systematic, intensive campaign of distortion, innuendos and half-truths is designed to provide the pretext for a repetition of what Israel did to Tunisia last week, to provide the pretext for what it intends to do to other Arab countries any time in the future.
We are trying to pre-empt this escalation of violence - whether by fringe groups or by states like Israel that are on the fringes of the international community. For, when Israel was condemned last week for its action against Tunisia, it stated that in no circumstances would it abide by the Security
Council's resolution. It therefore was announcing and signalling to the world that it is a pariah in the community of nations. If Israel gets away with this, other pariah groups - whether Palestinians or others - may be infected and feel that they can conduct the same kind of reckless terrorism.
Therefore it is important that we refocus on the need and the priority of again providing the political, diplomatic option - the peaceful option. We must re-establish credibility and the chance for the achievement of a peaceful solution. He feel that at this moment there is the proper climate for the convening of an international conference to settle the various outstanding issues in the Middle Bast conflict.
We are looking forward to the forthcoming meeting, in Geneva on 19 November, between the leader of the United States and the leader of the Soviet Union. We think that in itself the decision to have the meeting has generated an atmosphere of hope - limited hope perhaps, but still hope. Of course, we know that the two super-powers, entrusted with global responsibilities, have their own priorities in terms of disarmament. We are very hopeful that they will be successful in that regard. But we feel, too, that regional conflicts, including the Middle East conflict, can benefit from the defusion of tension and confrontation between the two super-Powers. Hence, in the present climate there is an incentive for the United states and the Soviet Union to work with other members of the Security Council and the interested parties in the Middle East in order to shoulder, within the framework of the United Nations, a shared responsibility in connection with a problem that was caused by a shared United Nations resolution: the resolution adopted in 1947.
Thus, we in the Arab League view the forthcoming meeting of the two super-Powers as an occasion to create a climate that will be conducive - particularly for the United States - to taking up the suggestion for an international conference, removed from the tensions of the cold war and super-Power competition and confrontation in our region.
Moreover, we have consistently stated in this Council and in our various Arab League resolutions that we do not wish to see efforts to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict encourage or exploit Soviet-American tension, competition or confrontation, we want our region to be an arena for the strengthening of detente. We do not want our regional issues to be examined from the viewpoint of Soviet-American or super-Power relations. Rather, we want them to be examined on the basis of the merits of those issues arising in the Middle East.
The international conference proposed by the Secretary-General and supported in United Nations General Assembly resolutions is not a partisan effort. It is not intended to confirm partisanship. Rather, it is intended to bring about - so far as possible within today's world - an objective framework for dealing with these issues objectively.
Unilateral crisis-management in the past - and examples are the early phases of the Camp David Agreements and the negotiations on the so-called Lebanese-Israeli agreement - has proved to be counterproductive Cot the purposes and prospects for peace in the region, we do not want unilateral crisis-management - from any side. We want this crisis in the Middle East to be resolved not only because that would be a contribution to peace in the world, but also because we have an ethical commitment to peace and, in addition, a pragmatic need for peace in order to ensure the development of our region.
Therefore, the climate being generated, however reluctantly and grudgingly, and the possibilities of defusing tension and of achieving some success on the global priorities of the two super-Powers means that if regional conflicts, in general, and our regional conflict, in particular, are resolved within the framework of the United Nations then our regional conflict will no longer feed on and extend to an undermining of relations between the two super-Powers but might, on the contrary, facilitate their priorities in terms of disarmament.
I am saying this after the Arab League's careful study of this issue, because We know that in many instances people have felt that the call for an international conference was made by one super-Power and that therefore it has to be opposed by the other, We are saying that our issues, whether it be the Golan Heights, Palestinian self-determination, Israel's attempt at hegemony in south Lebanon from hence it has not withdrawn until now or other outstanding issues, impact on each other. They are not separate issues; they are not isolated from each other; they must ultimately be related to each other, and hence their resolution must follow the pattern of a simultaneous addressing of the problems.
This is why we feel very strongly that the convening of the Security Council and the initiative undertaken by the countries members of the Non-Aligned Movement ~ Bring about more active commitment to convene an international conference is overdue, and to bring and the sooner the prospects for such a conference are translated into section the better for us and the sooner the causes of violence in the Middle East will be removed.
I do not want today to undertake any polemics or to make any attempt at rebuttal. we are well aware that Israel seeks to blackmail the international community by forewarning it that what takes place, at an international conference on a form of ganging up. Unfortunately, Israel has persuaded our friends in the States that the United States has to shield Israel's intransigence lest such a ganging up occur. This Organization belongs to the international community in which the United States plays a pivotal role, and, therefore, our expectation that it will display a pivotal responsibility corresponding to that role. We are eager that the United States examine the issues on their merits, independent from the Israeli attempt to determine or colour the course of events.
That is why the Arab League and the Arab nation as a whole, in its eagerness to convey and promote dialogue with the United States - inasmuch as we believe, because of the tradition of the United States, that it is a persuadable constituency - expresses the hope that the United States not, ab initio, declare that because Israel rejects the concept of a United Nations international conference, then we all in the international community have to be realistic and in turn abandon the idea. It is crucial that at this moment of agony and hope Israel not practise a vicarious veto on this body.
The PRESIDENT; I thank Mr. Maksoud for his kind words addressed to the Council and to me.
The next speaker is His Excellency Mr. Said Sherifuddin Pirzada, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to whom the Council has extended an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. PIRZADA; I am thankful to you, Mr. President, and to the members of the Security Council for giving me the opportunity to participate in my capacity a the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in the debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine.
The Security Council is meeting to discuss this issue, which is of major concern to the international community and particularly to the Islamic world, in pursuance of the decision of the Ministerial Conference of Non-Aligned Countries held in Angola in September 1985. The decision to request the convening of this meeting was motivated by the desire of the members of the Movement to hold, at the fortieth session of the General Assembly, an in-depth discussion of the question in all its aspects, to analyse the obstacles in the way of a comprehensive, just and .lasting solution of the problem and to find ways and means of removing those obstacles.
One cannot fail, however, to note that an effort is being made to becloud the basic issue by some participants in the debate who have made this latest act of hijacking by four Palestinians the centerpiece of their statements, without placing it in its proper perspective, namely, that it is one in a series of violent acts, acts of terrorism, in a vicious circle in which individual acts of terrorism are counterposed to acts of State terrorism by Israel.
This cycle of violence is a symptom, however, rather than the cause of the conflict in the Middle East. We cannot hope to remove the symptoms without addressing ourselves to the basic cause, which is the denial of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return, their right to self-determination and their right to an independent State in their homeland, Palestine. The people of Palestine have been dispossessed - they have been forced from their homes, their land and their country. They have been denied their fundamental human rights. They have been suppressed inside the occupied territories and attacked outside them. Their national identity and their existence as a people are at stake. They are denied all means of redress because Israel refuses, and has for decades refused, to heed the calls of the international community to restore the rights of the people of Palestine. It refuses to acknowledge their existence and publicly vows to destroy them. It denies them the legitimacy that it seeks to acquire for itself. It denies them the security and peace that it demands for itself.
A nation - a people - is being destroyed. It is futile to expect, to hope or to demand that their desperate acts will cease while they are being trampled beneath the heel of aggression. We must demonstrate to them, show them and make them believe that their rights will be restored to them and that the injustice to which they have been subjected will be undone.
The history of the past 40 years is replete with examples of Israeli aggression, expansion and annexation. Whenever the olive branch of peace has been extended to Israel, it has reacted by striking down the hand that holds the branch. Israel has violated the Charter of the United Nations, principles of international law and morality and the norms of inter-State conduct. It has committed aggression against its neighbours as well as against those not in its vicinity.
The elements of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East are well known. They have been enunciated in a number of peace proposals. The Fez peace plan sets them out in a comprehensive manner. The United Nations has identified them. They have been reiterated on countless occasions. Speakers participating in the present debate have recalled them. The Palestine Liberation Organization has accepted them.
The elements of peace are simple. They include the following: first, the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return, to exercise self-determination and to have a sovereign homeland in Palestine; secondly, the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including the Holy City of Jerusalem; and thirdly, the recognition of the right of all States in the region to exist within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, with justice and security for all peoples. These elements remain unimplemented because of the intransigence of Israel.
I believe it is the duty of the Security Council to ensure the recognition and acceptance of those elements by all parties concerned. The best means to do so has already been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations – namely the holding of an international conference on peace in the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as the .United States, the USSR and other concerned States, on an equal footing.
The need to hold such a conference has never been greater or more urgent. The security Council must act. It must not be paralyzed. It must be prepared to exercise its primary functions and it must be ready to apply sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter against those who refuse to implement its decisions. Delays in seeking a comprehensive, just and lasting solution will only exacerbate tension and perpetuate injustice.
Mr. KADDOUMI (Palestine Liberation Organization) (interpretation from Arabic); Yesterday, we explained how we tried to co-operate with the Egyptian and Italian authorities so as to save the lives of 400 passengers and crew members who were on the Italian vessel Achille Lauro. That vessel was hijacked by a number of Palestinians.
Those joint endeavours have put an end to the operation and have saved the vessel and those on board it from dire consequences. Unfortunately, we learned with surprise yesterday that the United States President, President Reagan, had given instructions to the American air base in Sicily to hijack a civilian Egyptian plane en route from Cairo to one of the countries of North Africa. American military jets therefore carried out an operation of air piracy, thus forcing the Egyptian plane to change its route and to land at the American base in Sicily.
Those who hijacked the Italian vessel were on their way to a Palestinian court. Brother Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee, had declared in response to a question in an American television interview that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) would interrogate them in co-ordination with the Egyptian and Italian authorities. The Chairman of the PLO had already expressed our organization's condemnation of the operation.
we must note here that the United States military base in Sicily was able to track a single Egyptian aeroplane, but had failed to observe eight Israeli military jets bearing destruction towards a peaceful Arab capital and the PLO offices there. All information and evidence shows that the United States base was used by the Israeli jets as a springboard for their raid against Tunisia; it must have been used also to fuel those maurauding jets.
The United States of America is feeling the ecstasy of victory, having succeeded in an act of piracy against a civilian aircraft, just as it felt the same ecstasy when American troops invaded the peaceful little Caribbean island of Grenada. I admit that the United States is a super-Power capable of taking action beyond what it has already taken, but I cannot understand why such action is not called terrorism and aggression. The United States has arrogated unto itself the right to carry out such acts. It is strange that the United States appeals to the world to save hostages and fight against international terrorism while itself perpetrating such terrorism.
(Continued in Arabic)
I wonder whether the arrest of four Palestinians will put an end to violence and terrorism in the Middle East. No, it will not, because Israel is the primary source aggression and terrorism. It persists in its policy with the support of The States of America.
I do not wish here to reply to the statement made yesterday by the representative of Israel, when he emptied his sack of hatred against the Arabs and the Palestinians. Over and over again, we have heard his lame logic, which convinces no one. But I want to address all Israelis. I am a Palestinian citizen who lived in the city of Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast 50 years ago - before the creation of Israel and probably before the representative of Israel so much as set eyes on the land of Palestine. We ask how long Israel will continue to rely on terrorism and aggression in its attempt to remain a small island in the midst of a turbulent ocean of Arabs. Does Israel believe that its technological advancement and its dependence on the United States and on the increasing support provided by that country will bring it peace and security? Does Israel believe it can ever achieve peace, security and good-neighbourly relations with its Arab neighbours? Can Israel annihilate the Palestinian people and eliminate the Palestinian question once and for all? Can Israel convince the world that Israel is Palestine, the homeland of the Palestinians? Does Israel not believe that current Arab incapability will inevitably change into a force capable of protecting Arab rights, and of denying Israel a life in peace so long as it denies Palestinian rights, persecutes the Palestinians and hurls threats at the Arab ocean that surrounds it?
Does Israel have gold-mines and oil wells on which to depend indefinitely so that it can afford to continue to antagonize its Arab neighbours, continue its acts of aggression against them and continue to occupy Palestinian territory?
The Palestinians now total 5 million and possess great skills that are no less than those of the Israelis. The Palestinian revolution will continue until the Palestinian people returns to its homeland and lives peacefully there.
Despite all the methods used by Israel and the United States, the Palestinian people will continue to be an impenetrable wall around Israel that will not allow it to engulf the Arab region so that it may coexist in accordance with its logic, the logic of force, arrogance and terrorism. That is the march of history, and that is the ultimate destiny of the Arab region. The Palestinian State will be established. However long we have to wait, we are confident that justice will prevail despite the arrogance of power and terrorism.
The PRESIDENT; The next speaker is the representative of Jordan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. SALAH (Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): When considering the Arab-Israeli conflict, and in particular the question of Palestine, which is at its core, the Council must recall the basic facts of the conflict and search for its roots, which nourish the state of violence, instability and extremism in the Middle East. Only by such an approach can we reach a clear understanding and adopt an effective position with regard to the conflict.
The past four decades and the five Arab-Israeli wars in those decades have created basic facts that cannot be denied if any consideration of the question is to be fruitful.
First, the basic problem in the Middle East is the continued Israeli Occupation of the Arab territories since 1967 and the persistent denial of the legitimate rights of the Arab Palestinian people.
Secondly, the current circumstances in which the Council is meeting, in particular the increase in acts of terrorism on the one hand and of legitimate resistance on the other, reaffirm the seriousness of the absence of a comprehensive, just peace. They call for prompt action to achieve such a peace.
Thirdly, the continuation of a state of no war, no peace might seem beneficial to some, with the tension and instability it entails, but in fact the continuation of such a state is the cause of the terrorism and violence in the region. It is also the cause of the continued resistance to the occupiers.
Fourthly, the experience of the past four decades has proved that the time factor is not working in anybody's favour. Those who believe that time works in their favour and against the other party are wrong, because in the absence of justice, the continuation of war and the countless causes of violence have made time a critical factor, pouring salt on the wounds, while consolidating rejection and extremism. Experience has taught us that time can either run against the interests of all, if it is used to strengthen the tendency to aggression and expansion, or be in the interests of all if it is used properly through the adoption of flexibility and moderation.
On the basis of those fundamental facts, Jordan has worked sincerely and consistently to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting political solution which would end the state of no war, no peace, with all the extremism, terrorism and violence it entails. That has been Jordan's approach since the very beginning, for it has participated in the formulation of a number of peace initiatives and has welcomed all international efforts in that regard.
In its search for the best path to peace, Jordan, in co-operation with its Arab brothers and in particular the Palestinian people, has advocated the political option to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the principle that has become the foundation of international unanimity - that of territory in return for peace. That approach was also manifested in the Arab context in the resolutions of the Fez Summit of 1982, in which the Arabs accepted a political solution on the basis of trading land for peace.
Nevertheless, such international unanimity has not led to the establishment of peace in the Middle East. The situation remains unchanged. Yet there is one glaring reality that cannot be denied - the need to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, in the formulation of which the Palestinians would participate from the beginning. They would also take part guaranteeing it through their legitimate leadership, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which has declared its commitment to the principle of peace and existence, based on a guarantee of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people. With such a commitment the PLO gives expression to the hopes of the Palestinian people, languishing under the yoke of occupation, and responds to its wish to rid itself of that occupation.
The Palestinian people's call for freedom and its wish for self-determination on a just and lasting peace, in the formulation and guaranteeing of which that people will participate, has been expressed on various occasions through its legitimate leadership, the PLO.
The Palestinian people has declared categorically and clearly its commitment to the distinct special relationship that links it to the Jordanian people. It has called for the translation of that relationship into a positive political reality - the development and consolidation of joint Palestinian-Jordanian action.
We in Jordan have welcomed it as an expression of our national approach and our awareness that that joint action strengthens the hopes of our people languishing under the yoke of occupation to be free and to rid themselves of that occupation.
Consistent with all I have mentioned, as an expression of the true desire for peace and recognition of its importance by both Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and on the basis of our commitment to the legitimate national rights: of the Palestinian people, in particular their right to self-determination, Jordan and the PLO jointly formulated the Palestinian-Jordanian Accord of 11 February 1985. That Accord is an expression of reality and the historical relationship between the Palestinian and the Jordanian peoples. It also constitutes an appropriate mechanism for fulfilment of the Arab aspirations to peace expressed in the Fez resolutions of 1982. It proceeds from the principles and the spirit of those resolutions and affirms the wish of the Palestinian people to achieve self-determination while maintaining the relations of unity dear to the hearts of all Arabs.
The Accord takes into consideration the realities of the regional situation from a serious and objective perspective. It also deals with the way in which the major Powers and the international community would participate in the achievement of peace. Thus the Accord takes into account the need to convene an international conference in which peace negotiations between the interested parties would take place.
The Palestinian-Jordanian Accord calls for the convening of an international conference to be attended by all parties concerned in addition to the permanent members of the Security Council. Invitations to such a conference would be dispatched by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Accord states that such a conference would be an appropriate framework for achievement of the desire comprehensive settlement.
I need not recall here that that method is not a new one. But it is the best method we have found; it is an applicable, appropriate method of facilitating the peace process.
In recalling the positions of the parties concerned, we find they have all supported the convening of such a conference at one stage or another; in turn, they have called on the Security Council and the United Nations to achieve that end.
In this regard I should like to point out that political arrangements have been made previously in this context, following the October war of 1973. The call of Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization, as the parties most immediately concerned, for the convening of such a conference is justified politically and socially. We believe the convening of that conference would enhance the responsibilities of international detente, in addition to being the optimum way to achieve peace in the Middle East - peace, which is the most important goal of us all.
We do not believe that the convening of that conference would strengthen the negotiating position of one party at the expense of the other party. Furthermore, we believe the conference would be practical and useful, not a rostrum for polemics and the making of statements.
Proceeding from that, we conceive the importance of our joint political movement with the Palestine Liberation Organization as being embodied in the Palestinian-Jordanian Accord signed on 11 February 1985 in Amman. Any Palestinian-Jordanian Accord cannot fail to make a positive contribution to peace and stability. It has been an Arab demand as well as an international one. It has enjoyed international and Arab support.
Here we should like to place on record our thanks to all those who have welcomed the Accord, whether inside this Council or outside it. We hope it will be similarly supported by all, because it is in fact a sincere and serious effort on our part.
Finally I should like to affirm that if the current events in our region provides anything it is the importance of rapid movement towards peace. It is essential to achieve peace, and we believe it is possible to do so through an international conference and on the basis of the Palestinian-Jordanian Accord. Therefore we expect and urge the parties concerned to adopt more positive and flexible position in order to enhance the possibility of peace.
That was affirmed by His Majesty King Hussein in his statement before the General Assembly on 27 September last, when he said:
"Let us marshal our resources in the cause of peace. Let us make our concern for the future the only constraint in our calculations.
"Faith in peace is the corner-stone of the United Nations, just as the United Nations is the corner-stone of peace, which is itself the basis of all progress and prosperity." (A/40/PV.12, p.22)
Mr. BEIN (Israel): I should like to begin by conveying to the representatives a statement issued today by my country's Foreign Ministry, which expresses satisfaction and appreciation for the resolute action of the United States in intercepting the aircraft carrying the four PLF terrorists responsible for the despicable act of piracy against the Achille Lauro. This courageous American act directed against Palestinian international terrorism represents an essential step towards the eradication of global terrorism.
From the vantage-point of the gallery, where my delegation has chosen to sit, we have for the past two days listened to a debate that borders on the absurd and acts to degrade this Council while insulting the intelligence of most of its members.
We all know the truth. None of the representatives sitting around this table is that naive or ignorant. We have witnessed a procession of speakers claiming to address the situation in the Middle East. Yet with the exception of the permanent representative of Israel, none of the speakers directed their attention to the many conflicts that are consuming the Middle East, as we speak.
I shall not repeat the list of inter-Arab conflicts which are raging throughout the Middle East and spilling over into the continents of Africa and Asia. As everyone here knows those conflicts have been exported through PLO terrorism to the continent of Europe as well.
Instead, we have listened to speeches that would lead one to believe that the whole Middle East is confined to the small area that comprises the State of Israel. This barrage of anti-Israeli propaganda only serves to deflect the Council's attention from the real issue: PLO terrorism and the danger it poses to world security.
The international community is still suffering from the most recent act of PLO terror. The murder of Mr. Klinghoffer, may his soul rest in peace, will not go away. The attempts made by representatives to divert the Council's attention away from this heinous crime will not succeed.
Yasser Arafat once again is trying to transform his crime into a personal victory. By now everyone here knows that this terrorist act was perpetrated by the Abu Abbas faction of the PLO, with full prior knowledge and approval of Arafat himself. Yet, Arafat continues to deny any complicity whatsoever. This is the
usual well-known pattern, and the world is not so foolish as to believe those lies I want to bring out some of the most recent examples of this pattern of PLO lies.
Lie number one. When the Israeli Air Force on 1 October bombed the PLO headquarters and facilities in Tunisia, Arafat declared - and we heard this lie were again, just now - that United States Armed Forces had participated in the operation. The fact: The United States not only had had no part in the operation, but had no knowledge of it until the American Ambassador had been informed of it after the raid had been completed.
disclaimed any connection with or knowledge of the group. The fact: Later it was revealed that Black September was a code name for Arafat's own Fatah.
Lie number four. Arafat denied all connection with the seizure of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum, in March 1973, and the murder of the United States Ambassador, the United States Charge d'Affaires and the Belgian Charge d'Affaires. The fact: it turned out that the crime had been perpetrated by the Black September faction of the PLO and that the order to kill the diplomats had been telephoned to the terrorists personally by Yasser Arafat.
Israel has repeatedly called upon all countries in the Middle East to negotiate a peace agreement. To date, only one such agreement has been concluded. We again call upon our neighbours - all our neighbour countries - to follow the model provided by Camp David: direct negotiations without preconditions. That is the only way to proceed.
We fervently hope that reason will prevail and peace will come to our region of the world.
We look forward to the time when the Security Council will be the scene of co-operation and constructive diplomacy instead of wasting the time of the representatives with futile declarations.
The PRESIDENT; In view of the lateness of the hour I intend to adjourn the meeting now. The date of the next meeting of the Security Council to continue the consideration of this item will be fixed in consultation with the members of the Council.