In Syria Arab allies of Palestinian forces fighting the Israelis in southern Lebanon met in Damascus on Sunday and Monday (19 and 20 March) to concert strategy.
GV INT Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers seated at tables at meeting in a Damascus hotel
SV Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam seated at head table
MV PLO spokesman Abdel Mohshen Abou Maizar seated listening (foreground)
MV PULL BACK TO GV Abdel Halim Khaddam addressing meeting
MV Delegates listening
MV Maizar (left) and other delegates seated
MV Delegate listening
MV Syrian Air Force Commander Naji Jamil seated next to Khaddam, (speaking)
MV Reporters listening
MV Maizar (background) with delegates seated listening
MVs Delegates listening (3 shots)
GV Khaddam speaking
MV Maizar PLO spokesman makes statement
Before the meeting, P.L.O. spokesman Abdel Mohsen Abou Maizar, told reporters that Palestinian troops had killed three Israelis for each Palestinian guerrilla lost. He said Israel had lost more men than in the 1967 Middle East War. In Beirut Palestinian officials gave Israeli losses as 450 dead or wounded.
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Background: In Syria Arab allies of Palestinian forces fighting the Israelis in southern Lebanon met in Damascus on Sunday and Monday (19 and 20 March) to concert strategy. At the session were Syria, Algeria, South Yemen, the Libyan Jamahiriyah and the Palestine Liberation Organisation. They are members of the Arab "Steadfastness Front", formed last year to oppose Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace initiative with Israel.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting was made up mainly of Foreign and Defence Ministers from the various Arab states. The Syrian Foreign Minister, Abdel Halim Khaddam, listed five points which he said were crucial and should be tackled by the Arab world immediately. He asked for delegates to work for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from south Lebanon, and to give full support to Lebanon. He said the Palestinian Revolution must be protected from all attempts to dissolve it and any differences between Palestinians and Lebanon should be protected. Foreign Minister Khaddam advised the meeting to put aside ideology and help bring Syria up to the military strength of Israel.
Syrian leaders said Syrian air-space and territory was open to any country sending aid to the Palestinians in southern Lebanon and they urged Arab nations to bury their differences. Later P.L.O. spokesman, Abdel Mohsen Abou Maizar, spoke to newsmen.
MAIZAR: "With what is happening now in south Lebanon is an Israeli war against the Palestinian people, against the camps of the Palestinian refugees, against the innocent people, women, children of the Palestinian people, women, children of the Palestinian people. This war with Israel is .. (indistinct) .. against the Palestinian people and against the P.L.O., it's obvious that it is for illegal purposes and against the sovereignty of lebanon and against the existence of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian refugees."