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Lebanon Accused of Trying to Get the U.S. to Pressure Israel

February 23, 1983
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The delegates of Israel, Lebanon and the U.S. held their 17th round of talks in an atmosphere of contentiousness in Netanya today. The session opened with a sharp attack by David Kimche, head of the Israeli negotiating team, who accused the Lebanese of trying to “get the U.S.” to exert pressure on Israel.

Turning to the Lebanese delegation, headed by Antoine Fatale, Kimche expressed his country’s “anger and frustration” over reports from Beirut accusing Israel of delaying any agreement. “You know full well that we are anxious to reach agreement…Any attempts to get the U.S. to bring pressure to bear on us won’t work,” he said.

Fatale replied in a conciliatory tone. He said the accusations Kimche complained about appeared in the Lebanese press and did not reflect official government thinking in Beirut. “In general, I am not an optimistic person, but here, in these talks, I am optimistic,” Fatale said.

Kimche then turned on the American delegation, demanding to know “what is being done to get the Syrians out” of Lebanon. The Americans remained silent even after Kimche repeated his question. Fatale remarked that he thought the Syrians would indeed withdraw from Lebanon.

The meeting broke up into subcommittees for continuing discussions of details on military matters and bilateral relations between Israel and Lebanon.

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