UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 29)
France and Egypt plan to introduce a draft resolution today in the Security Council urging Israel and all Palestine Liberation Organization forces to withdraw from Lebanon and proposing a political framework for a settlement between Israel and the PLO.
The thrust of the draft resolution is language which would affirm “the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to self-determination with all its implications” and declaring that the PLO “shall be associated” in negotiations for that goal. The phrase “self-determination” is understood to be a diplomatic code for a national Palestinian state, which is anathema to Israel.
The proposed French-Egyptian resolution would reaffirm the right “of all states in the region to existence and security,” meaning a renewed statement of acknowledgement of Israel’s legitimacy, which is a key element of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. The joint resolution also proposes “the mutual and simultaneous recognition between the parties concerned.” But changes in the wording of the draft was continuing during the day.
VOTE IS SEVERAL DAYS AWAY
Private talks were being held today in advance of formal introduction of the joint draft resolution. Sources here said no vote is expected for several days, in part to avoid interference with the efforts of U.S. special envoy Philip Habib, who has been shuttling between Arab capitals and Israel, seeking agreements of the Arab governments to accept the estimated 6,000 PLO terrorists Israel insists must leave west Beirut and Lebanon peacefully or face an Israeli thrust into west Beirut to destroy them by force.
It is generally believed the Reagan Administration will not consider any new Council resolution unacceptable to Israel and that U.S. representatives here will seek substantial changes in the French-Egyptian proposal.
Acceptance by the Reagan Administration of the proposed resolution with its “self-determination” formula would bring the United States much closer to support for an independent Palestinian state, marking a major political shift. To date, the United States has endorsed only “the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”
United States diplomats have been discussing the joint proposal, but Israeli diplomats call it an undesired amendment to Resolution 242.