Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 27, 1985

CABLE NO. 2483, AMBASSADOR KURODA TO THE FOREIGN MINISTER, '40TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (MEETING OF JAPANESE AND SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS)'

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    In this telegram, Ambassador Kuroda of Japan summarizes the main points of a meeting between Japanese and Syrian foreign ministers where they discuss the growing friendship between Japan and Syria, the American hostages in Lebanon, and Israeli Foreign Minister Shamir’s visit to Japan.
    "Cable No. 2483, Ambassador Kuroda to the Foreign Minister, '40th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Meeting of Japanese and Syrian Foreign Ministers)'," September 27, 1985, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2017-0631. Translated by Stephen Mercado. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/270638
  • share document

    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/270638

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

English HTML

Number: R132321

Primary: First Middle East Division

Sent: United Nations, September 27, 1985, 14:45

Received: MOFA, September 28, 1985, 04:02

To: Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Kuroda

40th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Meeting of Japanese and Syrian Foreign Ministers)

No. 2483 Secret Urgent (Priority Processing)  Q55FA

From 10 o’clock in the morning of the 27th, for approximately 50 minutes, a meeting of the Japanese and Syrian foreign ministers took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Following is a summary of its main points. (Attending from our side: Deputy Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yanai, Economic Affairs Bureau Director-General Fujita, United Nations Bureau Director-General Yamada, Second Middle East Affairs Division Director Watanabe. Secretary Yamamoto from our Embassy in Washington served as interpreter.)

1. At the start of the meeting, the Minister expressed thanks for Syria’s consideration on the occasion of his recent visit there, as well as for Japan Week and at the time of former Ambassador Nakayama’s visit. In response, Foreign Minister Shara expressed his satisfaction with the fruitful exchange of views at the time of the Minister’s recent visit to Syria and said that he believed that it made a major contribution to the improvement of bilateral relations through the political dialogue of the Japanese and Syrian governments. He also remarked that that he believed that, with the broadcasting of Japan Week on Syrian television, the Syrian people had gained an opportunity to understand Japanese culture.

Furthermore, Foreign Minister Shara, together with praising Japan’s sincere efforts for achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, indicated that he thought the continuation of dialogue between Japan and Syria was important. The Minister replied that Japan, too, wished to contribute to peace in the Middle East through a steady approach and that Japan wished to strengthen further not only relations between the governments of Japan and Syria but those of friendship and good will between the peoples of both countries.

2. As per separate telegram (Baniyas Thermal Power Plant).

3. (Problem of the American Hostages in Lebanon) (When the discussion on the Baniyas Thermal Power had ended, the other side raised this matter.) The other side said that he wished to convey President Assad’s statement that he is making efforts from a humanitarian viewpoint for the release of the hostages. He also indicated: I (Foreign Minister Shara) also said it on my appearance on ABC television this morning: The violence in Lebanon at present has its origins in the Israeli military’s invasion of Lebanon, in its destructive activities there, and in the increased activities of underground organizations in response. The Syrian Government has been urging these underground organizations to direct themselves only against the invading Israeli military. To that extent, it is in line with a series of United Nations resolutions and is justified as the right to pursue a war of liberation against an army of occupation. However, endangering the lives of innocent citizens is unacceptable. Foreign Minister Shara said that, from such a viewpoint, the Syrian Government has been intensively exerting efforts to secure the release of the American hostages by such means as making approaches to Lebanon’s Hizballah. Foreign Minister Shara said that these efforts of Syria have fully taken into consideration Minister Abe’s request. Also, noting that one of the seven American hostages had been released last week, he said that he was much more optimistic than before regarding the matter. Furthermore, he said that he would like to make similar efforts for the release of hostages other than the American ones.

4. (Israeli Foreign Minister Shamir’s Visit to Japan)

The Minister explained that, when Israel’s Foreign Minister Shamir visited Japan, he had clearly informed the other side of our country’s basic position (Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories, guarantee of the right to national self-determination, including the right to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and respect of Security Council Resolution 242). He also explained that, although he requested a flexible posture of Israel, the other side stuck to resolution of the problems through direct negotiations; the meeting ended with no visible progress and with the two sides drawing no closer together.

In response, Foreign Minister Shara said that he wished to praise Minister Abe for clearly expressing its position to Israel and declared that what Israel was calling direct negotiations meant nothing more than ignoring international law, United Nations resolutions, and international public opinion, as well as the terrible situation in the occupied territories, and forcing its own will on the Arab side.

5. (In response to a question from the Minister on his view of the recent circumstances for the problem of peace in the Middle East) Foreign Minister Shara gave the following explanation:

The February Hussein-Arafat agreement ignores the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. National self-determination without independence is meaningless. Therefore, the Syrian side considers the agreement to be, rather, an obstacle to achieving peace. I gave a similar explanation yesterday to British Foreign Secretary Howe, who seems to have understood it. Furthermore, as for a Jordanian-Palestinian joint delegation, it is extremely odd for foreigners to appoint the Palestinian side’s representatives.

(In response to the Minister’s asking about recent relations between Syria and Jordan) Foreign Minister Shara replied that, although not his final conclusion, Syria hoped for improvement in relations between the two countries and, if they could overcome the gap in recognition regarding Jordanian-Palestinian moves – the foremost point of difference – then the two sides could probably resolve the other issues at a stroke. Furthermore, Syria was prepared to make efforts for the achievement of peace on the basis of the Fez Charter, which had obtained Arab consensus, and thought that Saudi Arabia, too, took a similar position. In Jeddah, the Jordanian delegation, lacking authority, could not give a convincing explanation concerning the Hussein-Arafat agreement. With the meeting ended, discussions were continuing.

6. Lastly, with both sides saying that this meeting had been frank and fruitful and expressing the wish to continue the dialogue in the future, the meeting was concluded.

Passed to Syria, United States. (End)

Number: R132321

Primary: First Middle East Division

Sent: United Nations, September 27, 1985, 14:45

Received: MOFA, September 28, 1985, 04:02

To: Foreign Minister      

From: Ambassador Kuroda

40th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Meeting of Japanese and Syrian Foreign Ministers)

No. 2483 Secret Urgent (Priority Processing)  Q55FA

From 10 o’clock in the morning of the 27th, for approximately 50 minutes, a meeting of the Japanese and Syrian foreign ministers took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Following is a summary of its main points. (Attending from our side: Deputy Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yanai, Economic Affairs Bureau Director-General Fujita, United Nations Bureau Director-General Yamada, Second Middle East Affairs Division Director Watanabe. Secretary Yamamoto from our Embassy in Washington served as interpreter.)

1. At the start of the meeting, the Minister expressed thanks for Syria’s consideration on the occasion of his recent visit there, as well as for Japan Week and at the time of former Ambassador Nakayama’s visit. In response, Foreign Minister Shara expressed his satisfaction with the fruitful exchange of views at the time of the Minister’s recent visit to Syria and said that he believed that it made a major contribution to the improvement of bilateral relations through the political dialogue of the Japanese and Syrian governments. He also remarked that that he believed that, with the broadcasting of Japan Week on Syrian television, the Syrian people had gained an opportunity to understand Japanese culture.

Furthermore, Foreign Minister Shara, together with praising Japan’s sincere efforts for achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, indicated that he thought the continuation of dialogue between Japan and Syria was important. The Minister replied that Japan, too, wished to contribute to peace in the Middle East through a steady approach and that Japan wished to strengthen further not only relations between the governments of Japan and Syria but those of friendship and good will between the peoples of both countries.

2. As per separate telegram (Baniyas Thermal Power Plant).

3. (Problem of the American Hostages in Lebanon) (When the discussion on the Baniyas Thermal Power had ended, the other side raised this matter.) The other side said that he wished to convey President Assad’s statement that he is making efforts from a humanitarian viewpoint for the release of the hostages. He also indicated: I (Foreign Minister Shara) also said it on my appearance on ABC television this morning: The violence in Lebanon at present has its origins in the Israeli military’s invasion of Lebanon, in its destructive activities there, and in the increased activities of underground organizations in response. The Syrian Government has been urging these underground organizations to direct themselves only against the invading Israeli military. To that extent, it is in line with a series of United Nations resolutions and is justified as the right to pursue a war of liberation against an army of occupation. However, endangering the lives of innocent citizens is unacceptable. Foreign Minister Shara said that, from such a viewpoint, the Syrian Government has been intensively exerting efforts to secure the release of the American hostages by such means as making approaches to Lebanon’s Hizballah. Foreign Minister Shara said that these efforts of Syria have fully taken into consideration Minister Abe’s request. Also, noting that one of the seven American hostages had been released last week, he said that he was much more optimistic than before regarding the matter. Furthermore, he said that he would like to make similar efforts for the release of hostages other than the American ones.

4. (Israeli Foreign Minister Shamir’s Visit to Japan)

The Minister explained that, when Israel’s Foreign Minister Shamir visited Japan, he had clearly informed the other side of our country’s basic position (Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories, guarantee of the right to national self-determination, including the right to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and respect of Security Council Resolution 242). He also explained that, although he requested a flexible posture of Israel, the other side stuck to resolution of the problems through direct negotiations; the meeting ended with no visible progress and with the two sides drawing no closer together.

In response, Foreign Minister Shara said that he wished to praise Minister Abe for clearly expressing its position to Israel and declared that what Israel was calling direct negotiations meant nothing more than ignoring international law, United Nations resolutions, and international public opinion, as well as the terrible situation in the occupied territories, and forcing its own will on the Arab side.

5. (In response to a question from the Minister on his view of the recent circumstances for the problem of peace in the Middle East) Foreign Minister Shara gave the following explanation:

The February Hussein-Arafat agreement ignores the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. National self-determination without independence is meaningless. Therefore, the Syrian side considers the agreement to be, rather, an obstacle to achieving peace. I gave a similar explanation yesterday to British Foreign Secretary Howe, who seems to have understood it. Furthermore, as for a Jordanian-Palestinian joint delegation, it is extremely odd for foreigners to appoint the Palestinian side’s representatives.

(In response to the Minister’s asking about recent relations between Syria and Jordan) Foreign Minister Shara replied that, although not his final conclusion, Syria hoped for improvement in relations between the two countries and, if they could overcome the gap in recognition regarding Jordanian-Palestinian moves – the foremost point of difference – then the two sides could probably resolve the other issues at a stroke. Furthermore, Syria was prepared to make efforts for the achievement of peace on the basis of the Fez Charter, which had obtained Arab consensus, and thought that Saudi Arabia, too, took a similar position. In Jeddah, the Jordanian delegation, lacking authority, could not give a convincing explanation concerning the Hussein-Arafat agreement. With the meeting ended, discussions were continuing.

6. Lastly, with both sides saying that this meeting had been frank and fruitful and expressing the wish to continue the dialogue in the future, the meeting was concluded.

Passed to Syria, United States. (End)

ORIGINAL SCAN PDF

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. No worries, just click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to view the PDF file in a new window.

PDFs cannot be printed inline in the page. To print a PDF, you must first download the file and open it in a PDF viewer.