UNITED NATIONS (Sep. 21)
President Reagan pledged in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly Monday that the United States “will continue to be an active partner” in the search for peace in the Middle East.
But the single brief paragraph devoted to that subject in his 25-minute address contained no reference to an international conference for Middle East peace or to his own Middle East peace initiative of September 1, 1982.
Reagan said: “In no place on earth today is peace more in need of friends than in the Middle East. Its people’s yearning for peace is growing. The United States will continue to be an active partner in the efforts of the parties to come together to settle their differences and build a just and lasting peace.”
As he has in past years before the UN, Reagan strongly condemned the resolution equating Zionism with racism which the General Assembly adopted 12 years ago. He said it violated the UN Charter. He called on the UN membership to protect “the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from being debased as it was through the infamous ‘Zionism is racism’ resolution.”
The bulk of Reagan’s speech dwelt on the state of democracy in the world, the Persian Gulf war, the continued Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the state of affairs in Central America and relations between the two superpowers. He made only an oblique reference to the situation of Soviet Jews, without referring to them.
“We look to the Soviets to honor the Helsinki Accord,” Reagan said. “We look for greater freedom for the Soviet people within their country, more people-to-people exchanges with our country and Soviet recognition in practice of the right of freedom of movement.”