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US vote: nay on assailing Israel

The General Assembly voted 147 to 2 to condemn the Beirut massacre. The vote on the resolution, adopted at an emergency meeting, was 147 in favor and two against - the United States and Israel - with no abstentions, Monitor correspondent Louis Wiznitzer writes.

Explaining the US position before the vote, Ambassador Charles Lichenstein said that because of unacceptable language in several paragraphs his delegation would vote against the resolution as a whole. He said the complete resolution would prolong and embitter conflict rather than assist in its resolution.

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Israel did not participate in a 145 to 0 vote to call for a Security Council investigation into the massacre. Such an investigation is unlikely to take place since the country concerned - Lebanon - is not pressing for one.

Meanwhile, Cuba was handed a diplomatic defeat in its attempt to make a colonial issue out of Puerto Rico. Expecting 50 to 60 votes, Cuba was defeated by a 70 to 30 vote with 43 abstentions. Previously, US Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick had written a sharply worded letter to member states warning them that to vote alongside Cuba would be regarded as an unfriendly act toward the US. Many third-world countries currently seeking US economic aid were not prepared to pick a fight with the US over the Puerto Rico issue.

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