WASHINGTON (Feb. 8)
The Reagan Administration rejected any suggestion today that the impact of the findings of the Israel commission of inquiry into the massacre at the Beirut refugee camps last September will have any effect on the current negotiations between Israel and Lebanon.
“We don’t see why the impact of this report, whatever that may be, should effect the Lebanese negotiations or the current Habib mission,” State Department deputy spokesman Alan Romberg said. Special envoy Philip Habib, who President Reagan said he sent out to the Middle East with new ideas, arrived in Jerusalem today.
“Our view is clear, “Romberg stressed. “The issues being addressed are urgent and must be resolved as soon as possible in the interest of Lebanese stability and sovereignty as well as in the interests of Israeli security.”
Romberg said it would not be “appropriate to comment” on the findings of the Israeli commission. Nor would he comment on the commission’s finding that the U.S. shared some blame for the massacre because it withdrew its marines too soon after the PLO terrorists left Beirut and because it did not pressure the Lebanese army to take the responsibility to police the camps.