Shamir: All Foreign Forces Must Leave Lebanon Simultaneously

Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir said that Israel insists that all foreign forces leave Lebanon simultaneously, not just Israeli and Syrian forces but the Palestine Liberation Organization as well. Israeli sources estimate there are still 7,000 PLO terrorists in Lebanon.

Shamir addressed a closed meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations here yesterday. His remarks were relayed to reporters by a spokesman. He said there had been reports in recent days that Syria has agreed to pull out of Lebanon but no mention of Syria linking its withdrawal to that of the PLO.

According to the spokesman, Shamir accused certain elements in the U.S. of trying to weaken Israel by destroying its image and attributed to them reports that U.S.-Israeli relations were damaged by the massacre of Palestinians in west Beirut last month. He said the intention was to force Israel to accept President Reagan’s Middle East peace plan but Israel has already told the U.S. it cannot accept the plan, Shamir said, according to his spokesman.

He appealed to American Jews and friends of Israel to use their influence with the U.S. government in support of Israel. He contended that the Arab countries would agree to peace with Israel only if they realize the U.S. is totally behind Israel. If there continue to be statements to the effect that U.S.-Israel relations have broken down, peace prospects will disappear, Shamir said.

He urged American Jews to express their support for Israel and make it clear that the only way to peace in the Middle East is in the framework of the Camp David accords. Shamir’s spokesman said he was warmly received by the American Jewish leaders, all of whom affirmed their support for Israel.

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