Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 78

World leaders meeting in Moscow for the G-7 summit took time out April 19 to issue a statement calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East. The appeal came during a Kremlin banquet that opened the two-day meeting. It also launched a flurry of diplomatic activity in the Middle East, as Boris Yeltsin said that he would dispatch Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov to the troubled region after the U.S. delegation announced that Warren Christopher would be paying a hastily arranged visit there. The G-7 leaders were reacting to the accidental shelling by Israeli forces April 18 of a UN base in southern Lebanon that left more than 100 Lebanese civilians dead.

Reports out of Russia suggested that Washington and Moscow had reacted differently to the crisis. U.S. leaders expressed regret, but continued to place blame for the escalating hostilities squarely on the Hezbollah guerrillas operating in southern Lebanon, while Moscow pointed the finger at Israel. In a statement released to the press, Yeltsin was quoted as saying that Israeli actions in Lebanon are "absolutely unacceptable" and "must be halted immediately." (Reuter & UPI, April 19)

…As Primakov Follows Christopher to Middle East.