In Syria President Hafez al-Assad held talks on Thursday (10 November) with leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, including PLO chief Yasser Arafat.
LV INT: President Assad (left) seated with PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and other members of the Palestinian Central Council in Damascus, Syria.
SV ZOOM INTO CU: Arafat seated with Assad PAN TO other members.
SV PAN & LV: Other members of the council seated with Assad and Arafat.
The Syrian Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, Abdul-Halim Khaddam; left Damascus on Friday (11 November) for Tunisia to attend the ministerial meeting of the Arab foreign ministers to prepare for the convening of the eighth Arab summit. According to the newspaper Tishrin, Mr. Khaddam was carrying with him a 'working paper' on the whole Middle East questions. The paper was said to include Syria's reservation on the joint U.S.-Israeli document on the Middle East.
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Background: In Syria President Hafez al-Assad held talks on Thursday (10 November) with leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, including PLO chief Yasser Arafat. President Assad has been seeking a solution to the continuing violence in southern Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: The Syrian president, on the left, met with seven members of the PLO central council in addition to Mr. Arafat.
The talks in Damascus followed lengthy meetings between President Assad and Lebanese President Elias Sarkis. Sources quoted by the London newspaper the Financial Times said the two presidents agreed to convince all those involved in the fighting in South Lebanon to withdraw their troops from the border area. Regular Lebanese forces would replace them to keep the peace.
President Assad and the members of the PLO central council also discussed recent Israeli raids on Lebanon. The official Syrian Press described the raids as a 'provocation and a barbaric action'. The daily newspaper Tishrin said, the world should interfere to stop the Israeli leaders because they wanted to 'set flames to the Middle East.