Statement by Ambassador Philip C. Habib Following His Report to the President on the Cessation of Hostilities Between Lebanon and Israel

July 27, 1981

I have just reported to the President on the mission which he directed me to undertake not long ago. This is a satisfying moment. An end to hostile military actions and the consequent bloodshed in the Israel-Lebanon area has now taken place. The situation, however, remains fragile and sensitive. That is normal and in the nature of such things. The progress achieved so far must not be lost. Everyone involved must exercise the greatest care and caution.

The end of armed attacks, which has been achieved, could be a first, important step on the road to greater calm and security in the area. This will be indispensable if future progress is to be made toward a broad and lasting peace in the Middle East. What has been accomplished could not have been done without the help and understanding of many people. The final result, I believe, is in the interest of all the parties involved.

Thank you.

Note: Ambassador Habib made the statement to reporters at 12:37 p.m. outside the Diplomatic Entrance on the South Lawn of the White House. Prior to his statement, Ambassador Habib met with the President in the Map Room and reported on the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel