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Bishara Rejects Any U.S. Troop Intervention to Defend Arabs

September 23, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Abdullah Bishara, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council of Arab states, said on Monday that it would be the ″kiss of death″ for them if American troops were deployed in their defense.

Bishara told the National Press Club that the GCC appreciated the low-key, supportive role that the United States has played so far in the Iran-Iraq war but didn’t want the help to go so far that it involved American troops defending the Arab states against Iran.

The GCC, made up of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, has just begun negotiations with the United States to strengthen such economic relations as trade, he added.

Asked whether the GCC would accept United States military help if Iran should gain the upper hand in its war with Iraq, Bishara replied:

″A call on foreign troops to defend our territory is the kiss of death,″ he said. ″We (would) invite disaster. People who are unable to defend their territory and devote whatever resources for it and bleed for it are unworthy of survival.″

″I think we in the gulf have determination to defend our territories. Under no circumstances can we invite troops, guests, volunteers, half- volunteers ,″ Bishara said. ″This is a prescription for disaster.″

He said the gulf states had taken a conciliatory approach to Iran, and had advised the government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that their only differences are over Iran’s use of force to try to change the balance of power in the gulf.

″We must have understanding with Iran. We must have coexistence. We must have a dialogue,″ Bishara said. ″We will never do anything which is irrational. And inviting others to defend our soil is not only an irrationality, it is insanity.″

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