PARIS (Nov. 3)
Premier Yitzhak Shamir of Israel deplored the failure of the European Economic Community (EEC) to follow Britain’s lead in severing diplomatic relations with Syria because of that country’s alleged involvement in terrorist acts.
In an interview published in Le Figaro Monday, Shamir said the only way to deal with terrorism is “to put an end to the backing which various governments give to terrorist organizations.” He urged international cooperation toward that end.
“Experience has shown that terrorist organizations cannot attain important results without state backing,” Shamir said. He repeated his praise of Britain for breaking with Syria after finding that the Syrian Embassy in London was implicated in the attempt by Jordanian national Nezar Hindawi to place a suitcase loaded with explosives aboard an El Al airliner at Heathrow Airport last April 17. Hindawi was sentenced last week by a British court to 45 years in prison.
Shamir asserted that the British reaction to Syria’s collusion with Hindawi “is the only conceivable one to this very dangerous phenomenon.” While criticizing the EEC, he did not refer specifically to France, one of the 12 Common Market countries that refused to take the tough stance toward Syria urged by Britain. Shamir indicated he thought France may have second thoughts on the matter.
President Francois Mitterrand has called for a serious study of the British evidence against Syria in the Hindawi case. The EEC Foreign Ministers are scheduled to meet again in London November 10 to re-examine Syria’s connection with terrorism and the EEC’s reaction to it.