BEAVER CREEK, Colo. -- Former President Gerald Ford and four other former Western heads of state today voiced support for President Reagan's refusal to bend to demands of terrorists holding American hostages in Beirut.
Ford is chairing the three-day World Forum, an annual gathering of political and business leaders for discussion of international events. He joined former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and former Prime Ministers James Callaghan of Britain and Malcolm Fraser of Australia in issuing a statement supporting Reagan.
'We take this occasion to support strongly the statement of the president of the United States refusing any negotiations with terrorists or any concessions to them,' the statement said.
'It is our conviction, supported by our own experience, that any deal, direct or indirect, will endanger the lives of countless innocdnt people in all our countries and undermine the political stability of the entire area.
'The only correct solution is the immediate and unconditional release of the American hostages held in Beirut.'
A White House spokesman said, 'We welcome the forum's support of United States policy not to yield to terrorist demands. Resolution of the present situation lies in the prompt and safe return of all the hostages.'
Thirty-seven hostages taken during the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 were believed held by Amal Shiite militiamen in Beirut's southern suburbs Saturday. It was uncertain whether the airliner's three crewmen, removed during an anti-American demonstration Friday at the Beirut airport, had been returned to the plane.
The terrorists are demanding the release of hundreds of Shiite prisOners being held by Israel.
Some of those signing today's statement at the World Forum had touched briefly on the hostage crisis during a news conference Friday. Schmidt called terrorists abductors and murderers, while Fraser attacked Libya as a training ground for terrorists.
'If Libya is to continue to train terrorists around the world, then Libya should pay a price for it,' Fraser said.
The leaders had no specific advice for Reagan on the hijacking, but they agreed Western nations must unite to defeat world terrorism.