Summary of Political Issues & Conference Statement of the Ottawa Economic Summit Conference, July 20, 1981

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.

Ottawa Economic Summit Conference Statement on Terrorism

July 20, 1981

1. The Heads of State and Government, seriously concerned about the active support given to international terrorism through the supply of money and arms to terrorist groups, and about the sanctuary and training offered terrorists, as well as the continuation of acts of violence and terrorism such as aircraft hijacking, hostage-taking and attacks against diplomatic and consular personnel and premises, reaffirm their determination vigorously to combat such flagrant violations of international law. Emphasizing that all countries are threatened by acts of terrorism in disregard of fundamental human rights, they resolve to strengthen and broaden action within the international community to prevent and punish such acts.

2. The Heads of State and Government view with particular concern the recent hijacking incidents which threaten the safety of international civil aviation. They recall and reaffirm the principles set forth in the 1978 Bonn Declaration and note that there are several hijackings which have not been resolved by certain states in conformity with their obligations under international law. They call upon the governments concerned to discharge their obligations promptly and thereby contribute to the safety of international civil aviation.

3. The Heads of State and Government are convinced that, in the case of the hijacking of a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft in March, the conduct of the Babrak Karmal government of Afghanistan, both during the incident and subsequently in giving refuge to the hijackers, was and is in flagrant breach of its international obligations under the Hague Convention to which Afghanistan is a party, and constitutes a serious threat to air safety. Consequently the Heads of State and Government propose to suspend all flights to and from Afghanistan in implementation of the Bonn Declaration unless Afghanistan immediately takes steps to comply with its obligations. Furthermore, they call upon all states which share their concern for air safety to take appropriate action to persuade Afghanistan to honour its obligations.

4. Recalling the Venice Statement on the Taking of Diplomatic Hostages, the Heads of State and Government approve continued cooperation in the event of attacks on diplomatic and consular establishments or personnel of any of their governments. They undertake that in the event of such incidents, their governments will immediately consult on an appropriate response. Moreover, they resolve that any state which directly aids and abets the commission of terrorist acts condemned in the Venice Statement, should face a prompt international response. It was agreed to exchange information on terrorist threats and activities, and to explore cooperative measures for dealing with and countering acts of terrorism, for promoting more effective implementation of existing anti-terrorist conventions, and for securing wider adherence to them.

Note: As printed above, the statement 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.