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        General Assembly
24 September 1986


Forty-first session




Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 23 September 1986, at 3 p.m.


- General debate [9] (continued)

Statements were made by:

In the absence of the President, Mr. de Abreu Sodre (Brazil), Vice-President took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 9 (continued)



Mr. KURANARI (Japan) (spoke in Japanese); English text furnished by the delegation): ... Peace in the Middle East is one of the oldest and most tragic of the problems with which the United Nations has grappled. In order that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace may be achieved in the Middle East, I strongly hope that all of the parties concerned will redouble their efforts with a view to peace. Japan appreciates the sincere efforts of the parties concerned to attain peace, efforts exemplified by the decision to make 1987 the year of negotiations for peace. I assure the Assembly that Japan will also do everything it can to realize peace in the Middle East.


Mr. ANDREOTTI (Italy) (interpretation from French): ...It is essential also, in my view, to work to remove those causes of tension that offer terrorism alibis which are in some cases far too easy. I am thinking in particular of those areas where crises are most acute, such as the Middle East. Throughout the area there are manifestations of a profound desire for peace, justice and attempts at dialogue which are even breaking through the traditional psychological barriers between the Arab world and Israel, and between Israel and the Soviet Union. However, we note with regret that certain preconditions are still being maintained and that there is no prospect of their being reconsidered in the future. This prevents achievement of the two necessary bases for a just and lasting solution of the Middle East conflict: the right of all States in the region, including Israel, to a peaceful and secure existence and the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.

A dialogue must finally be started on that basis and in pursuance of those objectives, with the indispensable participation of all the parties concerned and the constructive support of those countries which are in a position to play a significant role in the region. Italy, together with its European partners, remains determined to contribute to that dialogue, to the best of its ability and with the utmost dedication.

We must also work to bring to an end the state of blind and chaotic violence prevailing in Lebanon and to promote a frank and sincere dialogue between all the communities of that country. Italy is contributing to the stability and security of at least part of that country through its participation in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). We believe that United Nations forces still have an important role to play in that area. That role is, first of all, the one decided by the Security Council in its resolution 425 (1978), which must be respected and implemented in its entirety. At the same time it would be unjust to ignore the positive effects of the presence of the peace-keeping Force in southern Lebanon, even under present conditions. For this reason we must carefully consider whether withdrawal of the Force would not entail the risk of further jeopardizing chances for a positive evolution of the situation. ...


Mr. TALEB IBRAHIMI (Algeria) (interpretation from Arabic): ... The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, which has the double misfortune of counting among its members peoples who are still under domination or oppression and regions caught up in conflict or tension, was obliged to make its voice heard so that what needs to be corrected will be corrected with all due respect to their purposes and principles and to those enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.


The same law of aggression, occupation and persistent spoliation applies to the Middle East and Palestine. There, there is injustice to be corrected and national rights to be restored. No lasting peace can be established without the Palestinian people, outside the Palestinian people and, a fortiori, against the Palestinian people. The national rights of the Palestinian people must be respected. That people has the inalienable right to an independent State in Palestine, its historic land. The occupied Arab territories, including Al Quds Al Sharif, must be vacated. Ravaged Lebanon must once again be able to live in a climate of national understanding and unity and to enjoy its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

There can be no solution to the crisis in the Middle East other than a global solution centring round the tragedy of the Palestinian people. For well known historical reasons, the United Nations has a special responsibility in this respect.

An international conference under the auspices of the United Nations remains the sole framework that would be possible, feasible, or credible. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate and authentic representative of the Palestinian people, must take its place and make its voice heard.


Mr. PAPOULIAS (Greece) (spoke in Greek; English text furnished by the delegation): ... My Government follows with great attention the developments in the region of the Middle East. Last year, from this very rostrum, I stressed the principles guiding our policy with respect to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Allow me to reiterate them, since it has not been possible, during this past year, to promote the peace process effectively despite a degree of movement.

The withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Arab territories occupied in 1967 is the basic prerequisite for the peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem. This occupation has been repeatedly deplored by the international community through numerous resolutions of the United Nations, which, unfortunately, have not been implemented. We support the fundamental and inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to create their own State. At the same time we fully support the right of Israel to exist within secure, internationally recognized borders. We believe that it is only through negotiations that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the dispute can be reached. These negotiations should therefore start without further delay, with the participation of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which, as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, has a significant role to play in the peace process.

An international conference could offer much to this effect. It is however, difficult to imagine how such a process could start in a climate marked by tension and efforts to impose faits accomplis. As in the case of Cyprus, we reject the policy of faits accomplis and of unilateral measures, as well as any attempts at altering the demographic and geographical conditions in the occupied territories. Such actions are contrary to international law and undermine the prospects for peace. For reasons related to the religious tradition, we attach particular importance to the status of Jerusalem.

In Lebanon, the recurrence of the crisis and the repeated acts of violence take us farther away from the goal to which all interested parties, as well as those who exercise influence, naturally aspire: that is to say, to the re-establishment of the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon. We also call upon all parties to assist the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), so that it can fulfill the highly important task for which it has been established.


Mr. ELLEMANN-JENSEN (Denmark): ... In the Middle East three major conflicts remain of serious concern to the world community, and not least to the countries of Europe, which has close and vital links with the area. Guided by the general principles set out by the countries of the European Community in their Venice Declaration, we have in the past year continued to support initiatives aimed at bringing the parties to the Arab-Israeli dispute together in talks for peace.

We were encouraged by the efforts made by King Hussein of Jordan to open the path to a constructive engagement of authentic Palestinian representatives in the peace process, and we were correspondingly discouraged when the King concluded that he had not been able to secure the necessary commitment from the Palestine Liberation Organization.

If the peace process is to move forward, it will be necessary for those who are most directly involved and who have the welfare of the Palestinian people at heart to put their political differences aside and unite in support of a realistic and constructive engagement aimed at a negotiated peace. In this context I should like to pay a tribute to those courageous leaders in the Middle East who are showing the way by realistic and constructive initiatives to widen the dialogue.

In Lebanon sectarian strife continues to exact a terrible price in human life and suffering. We can only appeal once again for moderation and reason and a will to compromise, without which it appears the very existence of Lebanon is threatened. When the Lebanese themselves choose to build on their common humanity and engage in true national reconciliation they shall find our ready support for the full restoration of Lebanese unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The meeting rose at 6.40 p.m.

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