UNITED NATIONS, SEPT. 27 -- In his first public speech since Iraq's invasion Aug. 2 forced him into exile, Kuwait's deposed emir, Sheik Jabir Ahmed Sabah, stood before the U.N. General Assembly today and tearfully urged the international community to continue its struggle to end the military occupation of his country.
"I came here to tell you of the horrors and suffering we are enduring both inside and outside our occupied homeland," said Sabah, who has taken up residence in Saudi Arabia. "We trust you will not waver in deciding on the measures needed to compel the aggressors to restore the legitimate authority and to put an end to their barbaric acts.
"We have never seen in contemporary post-World War II history a country that overran a sovereign independent state and then sought not only to annex it by brutal force but also to erase its name and entire entity from the world political map," he added. "All of this has taken place as we approach the end of the 20th century."
The Kuwaiti emir's appearance here caused many delegates to recall the grainy newsreel films depicting the 1936 appearance of Ethiopia's emperor, Haile Selassie, before the old League of Nations in Geneva.
His pleas then for help against the invasion of his country by Benito Mussolini's Italy went unheeded by the League. In contrast to the League's inaction, which is widely viewed as one of the precursors to World War II, the U.N. Security Council has adopted nine resolutions since Aug. 2 aimed at forcing Iraq out of Kuwait through economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation.
Whether these measures will succeed in restoring the emir and his family to their rule over Kuwait is still far from clear. However, Sabah urged the world body's 159 members not to flinch from doing whatever is necessary, even if it means a resort to force, to end "the rape, destruction, terror and torture that are now the rule of the day in the once peaceful and tranquil land of Kuwait."
Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdul Amir Anbari, walked out as Sabah began speaking.
Sabah insisted that Kuwait, before the invasion, had been "a gathering place for individuals from various peaceful nations who sought a dignified life through constructive work." In actuality, while the Sabah family had not run the kind of brutal dictatorship imposed on Iraq by President Saddam Hussein, its autocratic style of rule and allegations of corruption had caused considerable political dissension among Kuwaitis.
For that reason, some Arab countries have suggested that a possible compromise solution to the Persian Gulf crisis might be found by ending the Sabah family's rule and putting Kuwait under new leaders more to Iraq's liking.
French President Francois Mitterrand, in a speech here Monday, created a sensation when he spoke of restoring "the democratic will of the Kuwaiti people." His remark was widely interpreted as a hint that France might favor blocking the return of the Sabahs in exchange for Saddam agreeing to pull out of Kuwait.
Today, however, a senior official of the French delegation here led by Foreign Minister Roland Dumas denied that was Mitterrand's intention. The official, who asked not to be identified, said that France, like the United States, remains committed to the idea that restoration of Kuwait's sovereignty means the return of the emir and his family.
The U.N. Security Council's sanctions committee, meanwhile, has decided to allow a ship carrying humanitarian food aid to an estimated 125,000 Indians stranded in Iraq and Kuwait to unload its cargo.
The decision appears to be a concession to Iraq prompted by humanitarian concerns. Iraq had announced plans to deny food to Asian nationals. Today it announced that an estimated 1 million foreigners will be deprived of food rations beginning Monday.
The food from the Vishwa Siddhi, which is docked in the Iraqi port of Fao, will be distributed by the Indian Red Cross. Diplomats here said the food will be taken overland to Kuwait where most of the Indian nationals are located. They said India has said it will share the food with other Asians.
In Tokyo tonight, Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu called for legislation permitting him to send Japanese personnel to the Persian Gulf.
Kaifu announced plans for a Japanese "Peace Cooperation Corps," with strictly non-military duties. He had pushed the plan through his government this week so that the proposal could be made before his scheduled departure Friday on a trip to the United States and the Middle East.
It is not considered certain that Kaifu can win legislative approval, however. His Liberal Democratic Party has a strong majority in one house, but a minority in the other and leaders of the Socialist and Komeito parties, Japan's second and third largest, expressed skepticism about the proposal today. Kaifu did not say how big the corps would be, but published estimates printed range from 500 to 2,000 people.
In the Red Sea today, the U.S. Navy frigate Elmer Montgomery fired .50-caliber machine guns across the bow of the Iraqi tanker Tadmur when it ignored warnings, the Pentagon said, according to news service reports. The tanker was released after a U.S. boarding party searched it and found no cargo violating the embargo.
Correspondent T. R. Reid in Tokyo and special correspondent Trevor Rowe at the United Nations contributed to this article.