NEW YORK (Oct. 2)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir met today with Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, to hear Murphy’s report of his recent meetings in Damascus and Beirut in connection with an agreement on Lebanon.
A spokesman for Shamir said the meeting lasted one hour and was held at the Regency Hotel. The spokesman said Murphy told Shamir that the U.S. will continue to exchange views on the subject with the governments of Israel, Syria and Lebanon and that he would meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al-Shara on Thursday and possibly learn Syria’s response to American suggestions with repect to Lebanon.
Murphy also told Shamir he would like to meet with him once more while the Israeli Foreign Minister is in New York. According to the spokesman, Shamir stressed to Murphy Israel’s readiness to withdraw from south Lebanon. But he emphasized that there would be no withdrawal unless satisfactory security measures are found to protect Israel’s northern borders.
SHULTZ SAYS ISRAEL WANTS TO WITHDRAW
The issue of Israel’s withdrawal was also discussed yesterday by Secretary of State George Shultz. Addressing a luncheon in honor of the Gulf Corporation Council, which comprises Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qotar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Shultz said: “There is no question about the fact that Israel wants to withdraw as promptly as it can, that it makes the withdrawal not contingent on Syrian withdrawal, as at one time had been the case, and that both Syria and Israel, as well as Lebanon, are talking in terms of an expanded UNIFIL mandate, although just what that means and what role it would play is part of the problem.”
UNIFIL is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon whose mandate is scheduled for renewal later this month by the Security Council.
Shultz also told the Council luncheon that the outcome of Murphy’s mission to the Mideast showed that there was “a long way to go” before an agreement on an Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon could be reached. He said Murphy’s mission had not progressed enough to allow the U.S. to mediate between Israel, Syria and Lebanon.