In Damascus, talks between Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and Lebanese politicians have continued, in an attempt to find a lasting peace solution to end the fighting in Beirut.
GV Streets in Demascus. ZOOM IN TO armed guard outside presidential palace.
SV INTERIOR PAN FROM Lebanese politician kamel Assad TO Syrian President Hafez al-Assad during talks (2 SHOTS)
Foreign Ministers from the six countries which provide troops and funds for the predominantly Syrian Arab Peace Keeping Force held emergency talks with President Sarkis in Lebanon on Sunday, (15 October) to discuss peace proposals to end the fighting. The cease-fire declared on 4 October has halted the full-scale battle, but sporadic shelling and sniper fire has continued. The Syrian troops and the right-wing militias blame each other for the renewed violence and each claim that the other faction is attempting to gain complete control of the entire country.
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Background: In Damascus, talks between Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and Lebanese politicians have continued, in an attempt to find a lasting peace solution to end the fighting in Beirut. Following Lebanese President Elias Sarkis' meeting with President Assad last week, the President of the Lebanese Chamber of Deputies, Kamel Assad, arrived in Damascus on Friday (13 October) to discuss the fragile ceasefire which ended the fierce battle in Beirut between Right-wing Christian militias and Syrian troops of the Arab Peace Keeping Force.
SYNOPSIS: The talks were held in President Assad's palace in the centre of Damascus.
Mr Assad's discussion with the Syrian President centred upon the conditions of the truce, which has halted the latest round of fighting in Beirut, during which at least five hundred people were killed. President Sarkis has proposed a partial withdrawal of Syrian troops from East Beirut, the predominantly Christian sector of the city. The Syrians have opposed such a plan and the right-wing militias have demanded the total withdrawal of Syrian force from Lebanon. The Peace Keeping troops entered Lebanon almost two years ago to enforce the truce ending the eighteen-month civil war.