WASHINGTON -- Averting a threatened filibuster by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., the Senate Thursday approved a pro-British resolution calling on Argentina to remove its troops from the Falkland Islands.
The vote was 79-1, with Helms casting the dissenting vote.
Earlier Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved by voice vote another resolution expressing 'full U.S. diplomatic support' for Britain should it go to war with Argentina over the Falklands.
The Senate resolution said 'the United States cannot stand neutral with regard to implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 502,' which accused Argentina of aggression and called for its withdrawal.
Recognizing Britain's right to self defense under the U.N. Charter, it called on the administration 'through consultations with Congress, to further all efforts, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 502, to achieve full withdrawal of Argentine forces from the Falkland Islands.'
Helms had threatened to filibuster if a stronger resolution he considered to be too offensive to Argentina was brought up. 'It would have been dangerous to throw away our coalition for cooperation we must have to prevent a communist takeover of Central America,' Helms said.
But Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and author of the earlier resolution, said the one approved by the Senate 'clearly recognizes the United States is on the side it should be on, the side of Great Britain.'
'We stand four square with Great Britain. Argentina was wrong. Great Britain was right,' Biden said.
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., said, 'We are gravely concerned that the Argentine government abandoned the rule of law and replaced it with the rule of force.'
Sen. Daniel Moynihan, D-N.Y., paraphrased Dante, saying, 'The hottest spots in hell are reserved for those who in time of danger maintain neutrality. We have just avoided that by supporting Britain.'
The Senate resolution noted that 'on April 2, 1982, armed forces of Argentina seized and occupied the Falkland Islands, a crown colony of the United Kingdom.'
It added: 'The United States Government has provided good offices to the search for the diplomatic solution required by Security Council Resolution 502 and called for by the Organization of American States.'
It noted that 'no treaty obligation of the United States requires or implies United States support of ... any act of international aggression' and that there are long standing bonds of friendship between the United States and the Britain.
The House resolution also calls on Argentina to withdraw its military forces from the disputed Falklands Islands in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 502.
The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Solarz, D-N.Y., and co-sponsored by five other committee members, is expected to reach the House floor next Tuesday.
It said that 'in compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 502, it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Argentina should withdraw its forces from the Falkland Islands, and, if the efforts to resolve the conflict through peaceful means fail, the United States should provide full diplomatic support to Great Britain in its efforts to uphold the rule of law.'