UNITED NATIONS (Aug. 19)
The United States told the General Assembly today that it intends to vote “no” on three anti-Israel resolutions before the Assembly. The vote is scheduled to take place this evening.
Ambassador Charles Lichenstein of the U.S., addressing the Assembly’s emergency special session on the Palestine question, said that a settlement of the Lebanon crisis was “imminent” and therefore there was little that the Assembly could do at this stage to affect the outcome of the negotiations in Beirut.
Contending that the mission of American special envoy to Lebanon Philip Habib had been difficult, Lichenstein said that, nonetheless, “it holds out the only realistic hope for resolving the situation in Beirut and for achieving meaningful progress toward the restoration of full Lebanese sovereignty, a precondition for stability in the region. And today, this effort is on the threshold of success.”
The American envoy said that his government is committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He said the Lebanese crisis only reinforced that commitment. He added that the U.S. believes the efforts now underway in Beirut would be a step toward a wider peace settlement in the Mideast.
The three resolutions before the Assembly include in their provisions a call for the establishment of a Palestinian state, a demand for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and from Lebanon and, condemn Israel for its failure to comply with previous General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.