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Chairman's Summary on Political Issues

Venice, June 10, 1987

The Venice Summit has provided us with the opportunity for a useful exchange of views on the main international political issues of the moment. Our discussions took place in the same spirit of constructive cooperation which inspired yesterday's statements on EastWest relations, the Gulf conflict, and terrorism and confirmed a significant unity of approaches.

In the field of East-West relations, particular attention was paid to a number of regional issues.

On the subject of Afghanistan, emphasis was placed once again on the need to keep up pressure so that the Afghan people can very soon determine their own future in a country no longer subject to external military occupation.

It was noted that the presence in Kampuchea of foreign troops continues to be an obstacle to the peace and tranquility of South-East Asia.

In the Pacific, newly independent island States are faced with difficult economic situations. We have stressed the need to support their development process in conditions of complete freedom from outside political interference.

In Asia, we agreed that particular attention should be paid to the efforts for economic reform undertaken by China. We reviewed the situation in the Korean Peninsula, in the belief that the next Olympic Games may create a climate favorable to the development of a more open dialogue between North and South. In the Philippines, the democratic government is involved in a courageous attempt at economic and social renewal which deserves our support.

As regards Africa a continent with enormous potentialities but facing extremely serious economic, social and political problems we viewed the situation in South Africa with particular concern. We agreed that a peaceful and lasting solution can only be found to the present crisis if the apartheid regime is dismantled and replaced by a new form of democratic, nonracial government. There is an urgent need, therefore, to begin a genuine dialogue with the representatives of all the components of South African society. At the same time we noted the importance of humanitarian assistance initiatives for the victims of apartheid and of supporting the efforts by SADCC (Southern African Development Coordination Conference) member States to develop and strengthen their own economies.

Serious concern was expressed at the continuing dangerous tensions and conflicts in the Near and Middle East and at the absence of concrete progress toward a solution to the ArabIsraeli dispute. The need for action to create conditions for a just, global and lasting peace was reaffirmed.

Concern was also expressed at the situation in the occupied territories.

The situation in Lebanon, with its serious internal tensions and the persisting problem of the Palestinian camps, continues to give cause for concern. In this connection, we reaffirmed our hope that genuine efforts be made towards national reconciliation.

With regard to Latin America, the discussion highlighted the need to promote appropriate initiatives aimed at supporting democratic governments and encouraging the return to democracy and its consolidation throughout the continent. There was also agreement that efforts toward regional integration will help open up a fruitful and constructive dialogue with the West; they, therefore, deserve support.

With regard to developments in Central America, it is hoped that the forthcoming Summit to be held in Guatemala can play a positive role in paving the way to peace and stability.

Finally, we turned to the problems of the United Nations Organizations [sic] and, in particular, to its current financial difficulties, and considered possible ways of overcoming them.

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Source: U.S., Department of State, Bulletin, No. 2125 (August 1987): 10; Canada, Department of External Affairs, Economic Summits, 1975-1987: Declarations (Ottawa, 198-): Tab 35, 1-2 [unpublished].

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