Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Situation in Lebanon

September 16, 1982

It appears from press reports and eye-witness accounts that the Israelis have now moved into strategic positions throughout West Beirut and control much of that sector of the city. This is contrary to the assurances given to us by the Israelis both in Washington and in Israel.

We fully support the Lebanese Government's call for the withdrawal of Israeli forces, which are in clear violation of the cease-fire understanding to which Israel is a party. There is no justification in our view for Israel's continued military presence in west Beirut, and we call for an immediate pullback.

Note: Deputy Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes read the statement during his daily briefing for reporters which began at 12:20 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.