SV Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros greeted by Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel-Halim Khaddam and they walk to car.
SV INTERIOR Mr. Butros talking to Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad and Mr. Khaddam. (4 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Mr. Fuad Butros, the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Arrived in Damascus on Monday (2 February) for talks about Syria's military presence in his country. Syrian troops dominate an Arab peace-keeping force in the Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Butros was welcomed on his one-day visit by Syria's Foreign Minister, Mr. Abdel-Halim Khaddam. They discussed a proposed meeting between the presidents of their countries about Lebanese security. The two ministers also talked about a future Islamic summit conference in Paris.
Lebanon's Foreign Minister also had talks with the Syrian President, Mr. Hafez Al-Assad. The Falangist Party, Lebanon's most powerful right-wing political group, is strongly opposed to Syria's presence in the country. The two sides fought fierce battles in 1978 in Beirut's Christian suburb of Ashrafiyeh. Fighting between Syrian troops of the Arab League Deterrent Force (ADF) and the Falangists erupted again last December. There were a number of casualties and the clashes aroused concern in both Syria and Lebanon. The ADF's six-month mandate expired on January 29th. But the 30,000 strong force is still there, and Mr. Al-Assad has promised that Syria would stand by Lebanon.