Schmidt Praises Uganda Rescue; Says No-other Course Was Open to Israel

West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt has praised the Israeli rescue operation in Uganda and has asserted that the whole incident involving the hijacking of the Air France air bus “has cast so much light internationally on international terrorism that the prospects for a new intent, a new energy in the world to solve that problem in unison has been enhanced. I would hope, at least.”

Interviewed Sunday on ABC-TV “Issues and Answers,” Schmidt said that he would not comment on the international legal aspect of Israel’s rescue operation. “But on the other hand,” he said, “what other course was left open to the Israeli government? I don’t see any other course, given the situation they were in. I think they did a very intelligent and effective job on that.” Schmidt, however, added that he did not know whether the Israeli action will help the international fight against terrorism. This, he said. remains “an open question.”

Asked if there should be some sort of international body to deal with terrorism that has the authority on occasion to violate the sovereign rights of nations, Schmidt said he did not believe too much in supranational authorities. “We have seen what the United Nations do, what they can do and what they can’t,” he said.

Theoretically, Schmidt continued, had there been an international convention against terrorism at the time of the hijacked plane’s landing in Uganda, and had Uganda been a party to that convention and had Uganda honored its obligations under such a treaty, “the action of Israel would never have been necessary.”

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