UNITED NATIONS (Aug. 5)
Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar said today that the Lebanese government and the PLO have agreed to implement last night’s Security Council resolution while Israel said that its response would be made only after the Cabinet meeting later tonight.
Last night’s Security Council resolution, adopted by a vote of 14-0 with the United States abstaining, called for an immediate cease-fire in Beirut, demanded “the prompt return of Israeli troops” around Beirut “which have moved forward” since Sunday, and censured Israel for failing to comply with previous Council resolutions concerning the Lebanon crisis. The resolution also requested the Secretary General to report to the Council today on the implementation of last night’s resolution. His report was issued here this afternoon.
De Cuellar said in his report that the situation in the Beirut area was generally calm today. But “fires from previous engagements were burning in several part of the city,” he said. The Secretary General said he will submit a further report to the Council as soon as the reply of the Israeli government is received, together with available information regarding developments in the area.
The Secretary General also reported that he appealed to Premier Menachem Begin of Israel to strictly observe the cease-fire. De Cuellar also told Begin, through the Israeli representative to the UN office in Vienna, that he was prepared to go to Israel and Lebanon to discuss the crisis with all parties concerned.
But Begin, according to de Cuellar’s report, replied that the Israeli government would welcome a visit by the Secretary General if there were not a parallel visit to PLO leader Yassir Arafat. De Cuellar said he could not accept Begin’s condition as he felt it his duty “to meet with all parties involved in the hostilities.”
U.S. EXPLAINS ABSTENTION
The American representative to the Security Council, Carl Gershman, in explaining the U.S. abstention on last night’s resolution, said that the measure “has one fatal flaw: it does not explicitly and unequivocally call for the withdrawal of the PLO from Lebanon.”
Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, told the Council that “it is imperative that the terrorists leave (Beirut) without any further delay.” Israel, Blum added, had no intention of remaining in Lebanon, and once the objective of the “Peace for Galilee” operation is attained, Israeli troops will withdraw to the international border.