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        General Assembly
        Security Council

8 August 1989


Forty-fourth session
Items 37 and 141 of the provisional agenda*
Forty-fourth year

Letter dated 8 August 1989 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission
of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United Nations
addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the honour to enclose the text of a statement of 2 August 1989 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.

I should be grateful if you would circulate the text as an official document of the General Assembly, under items 37 and 141 of the provisional agenda, and of the Security Council.

Acting Permanent Representative of
the USSR to the United Nations


Statement of 2 August 1989 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the USSR

The situation in and around Lebanon has recently been growing more acute as a result of violent and inhumane actions involving loss of human life.

The news has broken of the execution of a United Nations observer, the American Colonel Higgins, who was held captive in Lebanon as a hostage. The Soviet people share the grief and sorrow of his near and dear ones.

The Soviet Union strongly condemns the gross violation of human rights and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There can be no justification for any acts of terror, or for kidnapping people, still less for executing them.

The Soviet Union firmly advocates effective international measures to prevent such criminal acts, as well as to secure the immediate release of all hostages and kidnapped persons, whoever is holding them and wherever they may be. The Security Council decision adopted on 31 July, in the drafting of which the Soviet Union played an active part, is a timely and responsible move. The Soviet Union will strive actively for its implementation.

Violence breeds violence. This cannot have been unknown in Israel when the operation for the kidnapping from Lebanon of one of the leading representatives of the Shiite sect, Sheikh Obeid, was organized. Yet again Israel, counting on its reckless adventurism going unpunished, has brought about a potentially still more explosive state of affairs.

The situation that has developed is all the more regrettable in that for some considerable time, it would appear, contacts had been going on regarding the hostages in Lebanon, and hope was emerging that their fate would be clarified.

The chain of acts of violence must be broken forthwith. Emotion cannot be allowed to prevail over reason. It is the Soviet Union's conviction that all those concerned for a just settlement of the question of Lebanon must now demonstrate total self-control, composure and restraint. Otherwise, the situation in Lebanon will develop along even more dangerous lines and the efforts made by the League of Arab States, with the support of the international community, to halt the bloodshed in that country and help the Lebanese re-establish national consensus on the advancement of constructive political dialogue will be nullified.

Another reason why the violence cannot be permitted to escalate is that this would block the process, which has been gaining strength, of breaking the deadlock in the Arab-Israel conflict and redirecting it towards tangible, practical steps. The situation calls for the energy of all participants in the events in the Middle East to be channelled into positive action, and the Soviet Union will do everything its power to promote this development.

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