Syrian Prime Minister, Lieutenant-General Hafez Al-Assad, was officially declared the country's new President on Saturday (13 March) after winning an overwhelming "yes" vote in a national plebiscite.
SCU (L to R) Nimeiry, Assad, Gadaffi & Sadat leaving conference room
SV Assad & Sadat seated
SV Koran reader
SV Four Presidents at prayer (3 shots)
LV Aircraft taxis in Algiers
SV Syrian & Algerian flags
SV PAN Assad down steps of aircraft & greeted by Boumedienne
SV & SCU Assad with Boumedienne seated
LV Aircraft arriving in Moscow
SV Kosygin, Brezhnev & party walk forward
SV PAN Assad down steps of aircraft & greeted by Kosygin
LV Syrian & Soviet flags
SV PAN Kremlin, Assad leads delegates to be greeted by Soviet leaders
SV Delegates taking seats
SCU Brezhnev PAN TO Kosygin
SV Assad & Syrian delegation at table
Initials SGM/2230 SGM/2344
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Background: Syrian Prime Minister, Lieutenant-General Hafez Al-Assad, was officially declared the country's new President on Saturday (13 March) after winning an overwhelming "yes" vote in a national plebiscite. Also Defence Minister, General Assad is expected to hold on to both of his present jobs for the time being. He takes over the Presidency exactly four months to the day he seized power in a bloodless coup within Syria's ruling Baath Party.
This VISNEWS library film shows General Assad in meetings with Arab leaders in visits to Cairo and Algiers ass well as in talks in Moscow with Soviet leaders.
SYNOPSIS: Shortly after becoming Syrian Premier following a bloodless coup in the ruling Baath Party, General Hafez Al-Assad took part in talks with other Arab leaders in Cairo on the Middle East situation. On Saturday, General Assad was officially declared Syria's new President. He'd won an overwhelming "yes" vote in a national plebiscite held the day before. The country's 14th President, General Assad is also Defence Minister. He's expected to hold on to both previous jobs at least for the time being. In the Cairo meeting in January this year, General Assad spoke with leaders of Egypt, Sudan and Libya.
Also in January, General Assad flew to Algiers for talks with Algerian President Boumedienne. There too, the topic was the situation in the Middle East.
The cease-fire with Israel was shortly to expire and the Arab leaders were trying to prepare a common policy. General Assad was also making efforts to improve Syria's relations with other Arab countries. In Algiers, he was to brief Algeria's leaders of a proposed Syrian move to join the proposed Arab Federation together with Egypt, Libya and Swdan.
In February, General Assad visited Moscow for his first talks with Soviet leaders since he took power in November. Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin and Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev greeted the Syrian leader who was heading an eight-man delegation. It was believed that the discussions covered the Middle East peace talks and bilateral economic relations.
Among the Soviet leaders taking part was President Podgorny. General Assad was the sole nominee of the Baath Party's provisional leadership. He officially takes office on Sunday. The plebiscite was Syria's first for 13 years and a big turnout was reported. He won an almost unanimous vote.
It was announced on Friday that a summit meeting of leaders of Syria, Egypt, Sudan and Libya would soon be held in Damascus. Observers say the wide acclaim which greeted General Assad on provincial tours reflected popular support for his moves to end Syria's diplomatic isolation.