King Faisal of Saudi Arabia received a rousing welcome in Damascus Tuesday (14 January) as he arrived on his first state visit to Syria since he became king in 1964.
GV Faisal surrounded by crowd (2 shots)
GV Faisal leaves crowd, walks to car
GV crowd with banners and portraits of leaders
GV Crowd lining route (2 shots)
Gv Faisal and Assad in open car through crowds
GV SV Crowd chanting outside guest place (2 shots)
GV Guest Place
SV INT with Faisal and Assad seated (2 shots)
Initials ET/1739 ET/1809
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Background: King Faisal of Saudi Arabia received a rousing welcome in Damascus Tuesday (14 January) as he arrived on his first state visit to Syria since he became king in 1964.
Both king faisal and his host, President Hafez Al-Assad -- who welcomed him at the airport -- stressed the importance of the four-day visit and the hope that it would increase Arab solidarity.
King Faisal -- who last visited Syria in the lata 1950s as his country's Foreign Minister -- said he hoped the Syrians " will soon get rid of their problems" and that the two countries would find the will " to achieve victory against our enemies.
President Assad said the visit would give the whole Arab world now strength in its struggle against Zionism.
Syrian sources said the talks between the two heads of state would almost certainly leaded to increased Saudi financial support to Syria and a united front, both economically and militarily, against Israel. The sources added that Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, was expected to join the talks in Damascus.
Saudi Arabia has already given multi-million-dollar financial assistance to Syria as allocated at the most recent Arab summit conference last October in Rabat, Morocco.
King Faisal's route from the airport to a guest house in the centre of Damascus was lined with cheering crowds bearing banners and placards reading " Arab Oil Is the Fuel for the Arab will in the Battle of liberation" and " Jerusalem Is Burning And Is Waiting for the Liberation."
The Saudi leader -- who country has the largest known oil reserves in the world and is its largest oil exporter -- will follow his visit to Syria with one to Jordan beginning on Friday (17 January).