February 6, 1984

I call on the Government of Syria, which occupies Lebanese territory from which much of the shelling of civilian centers originates and which facilitates and supplies instruments for terroristic attacks on the people of Lebanon, to cease this activity.

President Gemayel is now hard at work trying to form a new government. I welcome his efforts to stop the fighting and to resume the talks in Geneva aimed at achieving national reconciliation. He has set forth a specific agenda of reforms and reconciliation and demonstrated again his openness to a dialog on all the issues. He has demonstrated his strong desire to bring all factions together to develop equitable and durable political and economic arrangements for his country.

All responsible Lebanese political leaders should take this opportunity to bring into being the more broadly representative government they say they want and which we have continually supported. I urge all parties to answer President Gemayel's call. It is time for all Lebanese to rise above their confessional or factional affiliations and join together as citizens of one nation united and sovereign.

The commitment of the United States to the unity, independence, and sovereignty of Lebanon remains firm and unwavering. We will continue to support the Government and the people of Lebanon in their efforts to achieve these goals. With good will and hard work, the dream of a rebuilt and reunited Lebanon can still be made a reality. We remain committed to help in that task.