WASHINGTON (May. 14)
Secretary of State George Shultz rejected Wednesday the frequently made argument that the Palestinian problem must be solved before terrorism can be ended.
“There isn’t any cause that is acceptable at all for these kinds of terrorist acts,” he said in response to a question after speaking to the Overseas Writers, a group of diplomatic reporters.
He said one of the most “welcome features” of the statement on terrorism made at the recent economic summit in Tokyo was that there is “no justification for terrorism.”
“The Palestinian people have taken a major beating in the Middle East and they deserve to have their legitimate grievances addressed,” Shultz said. He said the U.S. has “worked hard” on this issue as it has on that of Lebanon.
“It would be nice if the people of Lebanon worked on their own problem,” he added. “They are the ones who are shooting each other up all the time. They have a lot of help, unfortunately.”
But Shultz stressed that “we stand for efforts to find a way to just peace and stability all over the world, including the Middle East… But the fact that there are problems in the world does not in any way justify this terrorism. We just got to get rid of that way of thinking.”
On another issue, Shultz said there is a “highly tense situation” between Syria and Israel because of the Syrian buildup in fortifications in Lebanon and the investigation in Europe of charges that Syria is behind recent terrorist incidents.
“We don’t believe a war between Israel and Syria would serve either party’s interest and we have cautioned against it,” he said. He pointed to Israeli Premier Shimon Peres’ recent statement that Israel has no intention of attacking Syria.