”I now call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq to observe a cease-fire and to discontinue all military action on land, at sea and in the air as of 0300 G.M.T. on Aug. 20, 1988.”
Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar
Today, Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar announced that Iran and Iraq will begin a cease-fire on Aug. 20. Direct talks on a permanent peace accord will begin in Geneva five days later.
Ismat Taha Kittani, Iraq’s United Nations representative, said it was a ”happy day that would start the arduous but happy road to peace.”
The Security Council President, Li Luye of China, appealed to Iran and Iraq to refrain from further military activity along the 700-mile front until the cease-fire takes effect.
”Teheran will accept the demand by the Secretary General and the entire world community and refrain from military action on land, sea and air as of today,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati said.
Iraqi officials gave no explicit assurance that Iraq would refrain from military action before the official start of the truce.
”The announcement of a cease-fire date is the news the world has waited for and the United States has pressed for – news that we may finally see an end to that long and bloody war,” President Reagan said
Hostages in Lebanon
Javier Perez de Cuellar said he hoped that the cease-fire accord would hasten the release of Americans and others held hostage in Lebanon. But the Secretary General also emphasized that the two matters are not directly linked.
Iranian Foreign Minister Velayati has promised that Iran top officials will use their influence to try to win the freedom of Americans held hostage in Lebanon.
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