WASHINGTON (Jun. 16)
Thirty eight Senators have expressed support for the Reagan Administration’s diplomatic effort to work for the “dismantling” of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s political and military control of Lebanon, the withdrawal of Syrian and Israeli forces and the establishment of a strong central government in Lebanon.
According to a spokesman for Sen. Robert Packwood (R. Or.), one of the signators of a letter to President Reagan yesterday, the Senators said: “It is crucial that a ceasefire be firmly established so that the way will be open for steps to reduce the possibility of further confrontation and conflict. Therefore we support strongly American diplomatic initiatives which combine the following elements:
“Dismantling of the PLO’s ability to exercise military and political control over significant portions of Lebanese territory and to threaten Israel from that territory; complete withdrawal of all Syrian forces from Lebanon; complete withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanon; and reestablishing full control and sovereignty of the central government of Lebanon over all its territory and the capability of keeping itself free of all foreign forces.”
The letter initiated by Senate Minority Leader Robert Byrd (D. W.Va.), deplored the instability of Lebanon which has racked that country since 1976. The lawmakers welcomed Secretary of State Alexander Haig’s statement last week that “a solution to the crisis must include withdrawal of foreign military forces from Lebanon, a restoration of the unity and full independence for that country and the removal of the PLO’s ability to conduct military and terrorist activities against Israel.”
The letter concluded that “a long range negotiated settlement along these lines should be our ultimate objective. We fear that without such an agreement, the region will continue to be plagued by the kind of instability which has precipitated the present crisis.”