UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 24)
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance forecast today that the future of the Middle East and southern Africa “depends on specific decisions that will be made in the coming months.” He again urged the “representatives of the Palestinians” and the governments of Jordan and Syria to join in the peace negotiations now in progress between Egypt and Israel.
In his address before the United Nations General Assembly, Vance renewed America’s “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security and well-being, now and in the future.” That statement followed his view that “We know an ultimate settlement must address the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people” and that “the Palestinian question must be resolved in all of its aspects.”
Vance said “The U. S. is convinced that progress will be made” toward resolving the Palestinian issue.” Preserving the integrity of Lebanon, he stated, “is also critical to peace in the Middle East” and noted that the U. S. will be moving toward a “broader truce” there than the ceasefire. He said the U. S. will be discussing this goal with “other interested governments” at the current General Assembly session.
The Secretary of State attacked terrorism but did not mention the Palestine Liberation Organization. Instead he referred to the killing of Britain’s Lord Mountbatten as an example that “our planet is plagued by those who make war on innocents.” He said, “We must have greater international cooperation to combat the barbarous practices of the terrorists.” He affirmed that the U. S. strongly supports the basic elements of the draft convention outlawing the taking of hostages.
“The conclusion of this treaty, “he added will contribute to a growing consensus that terrorism will not be tolerated regardless of the political cause its perpetrators claim to pursue.” Vance also urged a limitation on the “spread and accumulation of arms” as an “international responsibility” for the “requirements of peace.”