Summary of Political Issues by the Chairman of the Ottawa Economic Summit Conference
July 20, 1981
1. Our discussion of international affairs confirmed our unity of view on the main issues that confront us all. We are determined to face them together in a spirit of solidarity, cooperation and responsibility.
2. We all view with concern the continuing threats to international security and stability. Lasting peace can only be built on respect for the freedom and dignity of nations and individuals. We appeal to all governments to exercise restraint and responsibility in international affairs and to refrain from exploiting crises and tensions.
3. In the Middle East, we remain convinced that a solution must be found to the Arab-Israeli dispute. We all deplore the escalation of tension and continuing acts of violence now occurring in the region. We are deeply distressed by the scale of destruction, particularly in Lebanon, and the heavy civilian loss of life on both sides. We call on all states and parties to exercise restraint, in particular to avoid retaliation which only results in escalation; and to forego acts which could lead, in the current tense situation in the area, to further bloodshed and war.
4. We are particularly concerned, in this respect, by the tragic fate of the Lebanese people. We support the efforts now in progress to permit Lebanon to achieve a genuine national reconciliation, internal security and peace with its neighbours.
5. In East-West Relations, we are seriously concerned about the continuing build-up of Soviet military power. Our concern is heightened by Soviet actions which are incompatible with the exercise of restraint and responsibility in international affairs. We ourselves, therefore, need a strong defense capability. We will be firm in insisting on a balance of military capabilities and on political restraint. We are prepared for dialogue and cooperation to the extent that the Soviet Union makes this possible. We are convinced of the importance of working towards balanced and verifiable arms control and disarmament agreements in pursuit of undiminished security at lower levels of armament and expenditure.
6. We welcome the fact that, at the Madrid Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Western countries have just taken another major initiative aimed at defining the area to be covered by the measures the proposed European Disarmament Conference would negotiate. Equally important, they have proposed a number of human rights provisions that would give new hope for individuals deprived of their freedom. We believe that Soviet acceptance of these initiatives would enable a balanced conclusion of the Madrid meeting and a substantial reduction of tension in Europe.
7. As regards Afghanistan, about which we publicly stated our firm and unanimous position at last year's Venice Summit, we note that the situation remains unchanged. Therefore, with the overwhelming majority of nations, we continue to condemn the Soviet military occupation of Afghanistan. We support international efforts to achieve the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops and to restore to the Afghan people, who are fighting a war of liberation, their right to determine their own future. We note with approval the constructive proposal of the European Council for an international conference to bring about this result and call upon the Soviet Union to accept it. We are grateful for the report given us by Foreign Secretary Carrington on his recent visit to Moscow, and his discussions there, on behalf of the Ten, on the international conference proposal.
8. Believing as we do that the Kampuchean people are entitled to self-determination, we welcome and support the Declaration of the International Conference on Kampuchea.
9. Together with other states and regional organizations, we are resolved to do what is necessary to enhance regional security and to ensure a peace built on the independence and dignity of sovereign nations. All peoples should be free to chart their own course without fear of outside intervention. To that end, we shall continue to promote peaceful resolution of disputes and to address underlying social and economic problems. We reaffirm our conviction that respect for independence and genuine non-alignment are important for international peace and security.
10. Recalling the statement on refugees adopted at the Venice Summit, we are seriously concerned over the growing plight of refugees throughout the World. We reaffirm our support for international relief efforts and our appeal to all governments to refrain from actions which can lead to massive flows of refugees.
Note: As printed above, the summary follows the text issued at the summit conference and made available by the Office of the Press Secretary. It was not issued as a White House press release.