WASHINGTON (May. 14)
Secretary of State George Shultz has stressed again that despite the U.S. failure to achieve its goals in Lebanon, it is the only country that most people in the Middle East look to for help in seeking peace.
“When all is said and done, most of the people in the Middle East recognize that only the U.S. has the necessary respect and influence throughout the region to serve as an honest broker and a peacemaker, ” Shultz said in a speech before the Business Council in Hot Spring, Va. Saturday.
“The important thing is that we continue to stand by our friends and resist the forces of state-sponsored terrorism,” he continued. “If we do this, we will retain the trust of reasonable people on all sides while they sort out their positions regarding the next steps in the peace process.”
Shultz stressed that President Reagan’s September I, 1982 peace initiative “is still the only approach likely to meet the most basic needs of all sides in the Arab-Israeli dispute.”
His brief remarks on the Middle East came at the end of a speech which covered all aspects of American foreign policy. Shultz warned that the Reagan Administration is “prepared” to use American power if fighting in the Iraq-Iran war threatens Western access to its vital energy supplies.