UN Chief Terms Israel’s Withdrawal from Sinai a Constructive Move
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UN Chief Terms Israel’s Withdrawal from Sinai a Constructive Move

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Secretary General Javier Perez deCuellar said today that “the final Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai is a significant and constructive development.” In a statement issued here by his spokesman, the Secretary General added: “It is now essential to seek to resolve the other principal aspects of the Middle East problem, so that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement is attained.”

The Secretary General also issued a report on the condition of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). He said in the report that the situation in the area “has remained extremely volatile” and that tensions continue in that region.

“While the arrangements for the cease-fire in southern Lebanon which came into effect in July, 1981 have generally held, unresolved tensions have led to the very real danger of widespread hostilities being sparked in the area. It was for this reason, in particular, that I learned with deep concern of the Israeli air strikes into Lebanon on April 21,” the Secretary General’s report said.

He appealed to all parties in the area “to exercise maximum restraint and to cooperate fully” with UNIFIL. He warned that failure to do so “cannot only lead to breaches of the cease-fire but could also seriously impair the prospects of peace in the region.”

At the same time, he announced that Ghana, Ireland, Nepal and Norway have agreed to increase the size of their UNIFIL troop contingents by 221, 70, 30 and 20 men , respectively. He said France has also agreed in principle to a request for an additional 600-man battalion.

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