World socialist leaders, in a blunt rejection of last Sunday's Salvadoran elections, said today that the vote represented no solution to the country's civil strife and issued a call for a negotiated settlement that would include leftist guerrilla groups.
"The so-called elections in El Salvador provided no solution to the terrible ravages of the civil war," the Socialist International Presidium said in a statement at the end of a two-day meeting here. "Terrorism can be eliminated, and justice and peace can be achieved, only by means of a negotiated settlement involving all the political elements which will accept the democratic process."
The international draws together socialist leaders from Western Europe, the Americas and Africa. It includes representatives of the dominant parties in West Germany and France, but its positions sometimes differ from those of socialist leaders in power. The international tried a year ago to promote a political solution to the Salvadoran civil war, but the initiative failed to draw support from the government of the Central American country or its U.S. government backers.
Answering questions, conference president Willy Brandt explained that the reference to terrorism in the final statement was directed at extreme right-wing Salvadoran forces. Brandt said it was hoped that the proposed talks would include the leftist guerrillas' Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.
Salvadoran opposition leader Guillermo Ungo, whose Democratic Revolutionary Front is the political counterpart of the guerrilla front, told reporters here that his group had taken a wait-and-see attitude toward negotiations which, he said, U.S. State Department officials had indicated to him were a possibility after the election. "I believe the doors are still open to have such talks."
Ungo said last night, however, that his party would refuse to deal with a government headed by the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance.