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May 23, 1981 - Image 7

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-05-23

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, May 23, 1981-Page 7
BREZHNEV PROPOSES WORLD CONFERENCE ON LEBANON

Haig rejects Soviet

From AP and UPI
Secretary of State Alexander Haig
yesterday rejected a call by Soviet
President Leonid Brezhnev for an in-
ternational conference on Lebanon.
Haig said that before any such talks
are held about Lebanon, such a con-
ference should be called to deal with the
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
AT A NEWS conference, Haig also
said that though the crisis in Lebanon
has not subsided, the United States has
hopes for a peaceful outcome as long as
special U.S. envoy Philip Habib
remains in the region.
At an Arab League meeting in
Tunisia yesterday Brezhnev described
the fighting in Lebanon as "brutal,
tragic, and dangerous," and he
proposed an international conference
on the Middle East in which the Soviet
Union and the United States would both
take part.
Brezhnev warned that "one ill-
considered step is enough for the whole
Middle East area to be engulfed in the
flames of war and it is unknown how far
the sparks of the fire will fly."
The United States' top Mideast
mediator arrived in Lebanon for more
talks yesterday amid the growing
crisis. Habib's exhaustive two-week-old
mission was infused with new urgency
when Syria announced its SAM-6
missile batteries shot down two
pilotless Israeli drones over central
Lebanon's Bakaa Valley.
ISRAEL SAID one of its planes was
shot down and Lebanese officials ironed
out the discrepancy in the two accounts
by saying two missiles were fired at the
two planes but that one missed its
target.
mann

As distant sniper fire crackled prospects that should keep us on
yesterday, Habib conferred separately guard."
withLabanese President Elias Sarkis, a IN WASHINGTON, Haig would give
"One ill-considered step is enough for the whole
Middle East area to be engulfed in the flames of
war."
-Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev
Christian, and Prime Minister Shafik no details on the various proposals
Wazzan, a Moslem. He later said the being exchanged among the parties to
diplomacy would continue but did not the Lebanese dispute, but he said the
disclose his plans or indicate if there general U.S. objective is to return to a
was progress toward heading off a full- strengthening of the authority of the
scale Syrian-Israeli military confron- Lebanese government.
tation. Asked about Brezhnev's proposal,
Wazzan said, "There are some signs Haig said: "First, I think we are in-
that tend to lift the level of optimism terested in an international conference
but do not remove the worrisome which would focus on the Soviet presen-
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ce in Afghanistan. That's the first order
of business; that's our major concern
today."
HIS REJECTION was seen by some
analysts as consistent with long-
standing American policy of limiting
the Soviet role in Middle East peace ef-
forts.
Haig said the United States had been
in contact with the Soviet Union on the
Lebanese crisis all along, but "it's too
early to say whether they have made a
constructive or counterproductive con-
tribution."
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem
Begin has also warned that Israel will
not wait on Habib indefinitely and
yesterday's downing of another drone
raised fears that time might be running
out for a settlement to avert an armed
confrontation between Israel and Syria.
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