The United Nations Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim has expressed scepticism about the success of?
GV: United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim first down steps of aircraft and greeted Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam and officials.
GV: Waldheim and Khaddam enter car (2 shots)
GV AND SV: Waldheim and Syrian President Assad seated and talking (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM: PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to Waldheim, both talking
SCU: Palace soldier in ceremonial dress.
SV: Arafat leaving and being questioned by reporters.
Following the meeting, a PLO spokesman said the London talks were not directly discussed by Mr. Waldheim and Mr. Arafat. Mr. Waldheim's last meeting with the PLO chairman was last April in Beirut.
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Background: The United Nations Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim has expressed scepticism about the success of the Israeli-Egyptian talks which opened in Britain on Tuesday (18 July). Dr. Waldheim was speaking in Damascus, Syria, after an unexpected meeting with the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Mr. Yasser Arafat. The U.N. Secretary General said be believed a Middle East peace settlement should involve the Palestinians.
SYNOPSIS: On his arrival at Damascus Airport Dr. Waldheim was met by Syrian Foreign Minister, Abdel-Halim Khaddam. Also on hand were several commanders of United Nations troops in Syria and Lebanon.
Later, Dr. Waldheim and Mr. Khaddam were driven to Rawda Palace. then followed talks with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad which included the question of United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon. Dr. Waldheim described the discussions as "very useful".
Later, on Monday (17 July) dr. Waldheim held a surprise meeting with PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat.
Afterwards, Dr. Waldheim said he believed a return to Geneva would be useful in the event of the failure of the initiative of President Sadat of Egypt. Dr. Waldheim said he had discussed the idea of the preparatory conference -- possibly in New York.
Mr. Arafat -- who wore combat fatigues, ammunition belt and pistol -- declined to speak to newsmen after the meeting.