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U.S. Vetoes U.N. Resolution on Israeli Operation in Lebanon

The United States vetoed a resolution in the Security Council Tuesday that condemned Israel’s incursion into southern Lebanon on May 2 and 3.

U.S. Ambassador Vernon Walters said the draft, sponsored by six non-aligned countries, was one-sided. The vote was 14-1.

The United States “believes the Security Council should not address the problems of southern Lebanon in resolutions that fail to recognize the attacks and reprisals originating on both sides of the Israeli-Lebanese border,” Walters said after casting the veto.

Ambassador Johanan Bein, acting permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, expressed satisfaction with the American veto. “It was an unbalanced resolution,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“We are deeply concerned by the recent heavy casualties and devastation of property and displacement of individuals, the cross-border shellings and other activities on both sides,” Walters stated.

“The sad truth remains that as long as armed extremist elements use southern Lebanon to stage terrorist attacks against Israel, the border between Israel and Lebanon cannot be secure,” the American envoy added.

The Security Council convened last Friday at the request of Lebanon to begin debate on the resolution. Discussions continued Monday. The vote was taken Tuesday afternoon.

The draft resolution was sponsored by Algeria, Argentina, Nepal, Senegal, Yugoslavia and Zambia.

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