INTRODUCTION: The United Nations General Assembly was criticised by the United States on Thursday (12 November) for debating the Israeli raid on Iraq's nuclear reactor.
GV General Assembly
SV US Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick speaking
SV US delegation
SV Lebanese representative Chawki Choueri speaking in French
GV Delegates listen
SV Soviet representative Richard Ovinnikov speaking in Russian
SV Iraqi delegate listening
SV Egyptian delegate Ahmed Esmat Meguid speaking in Arabic
KIRKPATRICK (SEQ. 2): "Mr. President, the United States friendship with Israel is a constant and enduring fact of our foreign policy. It springs from traditions and values shared by the citizens of both countries. I will not be altered by occasional differences over actions taken by one nation or another."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The United Nations General Assembly was criticised by the United States on Thursday (12 November) for debating the Israeli raid on Iraq's nuclear reactor. The US says the Security Council has already dealt with the incident. And US Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick told the Assembly the debate served no useful purpose. In June, the Security Council unanimously condemned the Israeli raid, and said Iraq was entitled to redress for the air attack earlier that month.
SYNOPSIS: On the second day of the debate, Mrs. Kirkpatrick defended America's support for Israel.
Washington believes the Assembly resolution will hamper peace moves in the Middle East. But Lebanon's UN representative Chawki Choueri was among those who condemned the Israeli action. He said Israel had to accept two options -- to accept the Arab world as it is, or to accept colonial dependence. The draft resolution being debated was sponsored by 30 Arab and Third World countries. It demands two things: compensation from Israel and a halt to arms sales to Israel, as well as requesting the Security Council to investigate nuclear development in the Jewish nation.
Delegates then heard the Soviet Union's representative speak. Mr. Richard Ovinnikov said the Israeli raid was an attempt to replace international law with the law of the jungle. And he accused the United States of encouraging Israeli expansionism. He said the raid on the reactor near Baghdad was carried out with the latest American equipment.
Israel says it bombed the reactor because it would have made nuclear weapons.
But Egypt's representative, Ahmed Esmat Meguid, said the nuclear reactor was not the only thing destroyed in the raid. He said the most important thing destroyed was the trust Israel should have been creating in the Middle East. The raid, he said, had set back the movement towards peace and mutual trust. The Egyptian ambassador said security could not be established through aggression. Fear, suspicion and hatred in the region must be eliminated, he added. Also on Thursday (12 November), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed it would shortly fulfil and Iraqi invitation to send a team to inspect the damaged reactor at Tamuz.