White House Statement Following the Meeting Between the President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yitzhak Shamir of Israel

August 2, 1982

The President met with Israeli Foreign Minister Shamir this morning. The focus of the discussion was Lebanon. The President reaffirmed his support for Ambassador Habib and his mission, which is based on the policies, expectations, and hopes of the Government of Lebanon. The President emphasized that an early diplomatic settlement of the current problem of west Beirut is the essential first step in ending the trauma of Lebanon, beginning the process for a better future for this ravaged country, and moving on to the broader peace process. The President stressed the need for a complete end by all parties to the hostilities in and around Beirut as a prerequisite to allow Ambassador Habib to pursue his urgent work. The world can no longer accept a situation of constantly escalating violence. The President highlighted the humanitarian needs of the large civilian population of west Beirut, with emphasis on the need to maintain essential services and to assure adequate supplies of food and medicines.

Note: Also present at the meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House were the Vice President, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs William P. Clark, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Moshe Arens, and other U.S. and Israeli officials.