Opinion

June 6, 1982, Forty Years Ago: Falklands ceasefire

The United States joined Britain in vetoing a Security Council resolution for an immediate Falklands ceasefire, but then abruptly changed its mind saying it really should have abstained. Jean Kirkpatrick, the US Ambassador to the UN told newsmen that instructions from the US Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, telling her to abstain in the vote had arrived too late. Security Council votes, once cast, cannot be changed. In Versailles, France, and US delegations at a Western economic summit attended by Haig, the US President, Ronald Reagan, and the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher refused to comment. But British diplomats said they were amazed at what has transpired.

Tension in J&K

The anti-Centre tirade started by the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, on the controversial Resettlement Bill is causing serious concern to the Union Government and developments in the state are being closely watched. The Center has reports that the ruling party in the state has mounted a systematic propaganda offensive against the Center and it is possible that the Sheikh might go to the polls making the “bill” as an issue to maintain this momentum. Elections to the state assembly, the term of which was extended to six years instead of five, are due in June next year. But the Center has a feeling that the Sheikh might go to the polls by September.

Summit stalemate

France and the United States appeared to be heading for a clash on the two main economic issues dominating the seven-nation summit — monetary cooperation and credit to the Soviet Union. While leaders from France, the US, Britain, Canada, Italy, Japan and West Germany — discussed the future of new technologies, their ministers engaged in negotiations about currency intervention and export credits. France and other West European countries want the US to stabilize the dollar, to which the Reagan’s administration has refused to agree. Reagan wants Western Europe to join in raising the cost of credits on industrial sales to the Soviet Union, something which France has so far held out against.

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