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Toon Cautions Israel to Play It Cool Regarding Lebanon Strife

U.S. Ambassador Malcolm Toon cautioned Israel last night not to intervene in the civil strife in Lebanon as long as there was no intervention by other parties outside that country. However, in an address here, the American envoy said that should Syria or any other forces step into the picture, quite a new situation would be created.

It was learned in Washington, meanwhile, that the U.S. has advised several governments–apparently including those of Israel and Syria–to respect Lebanon’s independence and territorial integrity. State Department spokesman Robert Funseth said yesterday that the advisory was issued in the past few days as fighting between right-wing Christians and Moslem leftists in Lebanon escalated to a near civil war.

Funseth declined to say to which governments the U.S. had addressed itself. He said only that interested governments had been reminded of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s remarks in New York on Sept. 30 that “Lebanon is one of our closest friends. We have a special interest in its continuing independence, territorial integrity, national unity and cohesion.” Ten days ago, the U.S. State Department declined to confirm a report in Haaretz that Toon had specifically warned Israel not to intervene in Lebanon.

In his remarks yesterday, Toon expressed regret over the anti-Zionist statements made by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during his current visit to the U.S. However, he said, every effort should be made to encourage moderate Arab leaders, among which he included Sadat.

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