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At the 41st General Assembly: Reagan Blasts International Terrorism and Criticizes USSR for Failing

President Reagan blasted international terrorism in a speech at the opening session of the 41st General Assembly Monday and pledged that the United States “will do all in our power to help other law-abiding nations threatened by terrorist attack.”

Reagan, who was the first world leader to address this year’s General Assembly, sharply criticized the Soviet Union for not fulfilling its commitments to human rights “made more than 10 years ago in Helsinki.” He said that “among those unfulfilled commitments” were “the persecution of scientists, religious leaders, peace activists, political dissenters and other prisoners of conscience.”

In the course of his 30-minute address, the President listed world “trouble spots,” naming Afghanistan, Central America and Angola. He made no reference to the Middle East.

“In addition to regional disputes,” he said, “the grave threat of terrorism also jeopardizes the hope for peace. No cause, no grievance can justify it. Terrorism is heinous and intolerable. It is the crime of cowards, cowards who prey on the innocent, the defenseless, the helpless,” Reagan said.


“With its allies and other nations, the United States has taken steps to counter terrorism directly — particularly state-sponsored terrorism,” Reagan said.

He noted the U.S. air strike against Libya last April “demonstrated that it will defend its interests and act against terrorist aggression. Let me assure all of you today, especially let me assure any potential sponsors of terrorism, that the American people are of one mind on this issue.” Reagan added, “Like other civilized people of the world, we have reached our limits and attacks against our citizens or our interests will not go unanswered.

“We will do all in our power to help other law-abiding nations threatened by terrorist attack. To that end, the U.S. believes that the understanding reached by the seven industrial democracies at the Tokyo summit last May made a good start toward international accord in the war against terrorism.” Reagan urged that the General Assembly consider the Tokyo resolutions.