INTRODUCTION: Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel-Halim Khaddam flew into Beirut on Tuesday (7 April) and went straight into talks with Lebanese President Elias Sarkis in an attempt to end the latest outbreak of fighting in strife-tern Lebanon.
GV Christian positions (2 shots)
SV Machine gun dugout with militiaman speaking on walkie talkie
GV Militia running down street
SV Militia looking out through hole in wall
GV Militiaman speaking on walkie talkie to sound of explosions
GV Zahle with smoke rising in distance and sound of explosions and gunfire
GV Plane flying overhead. GV Zahle with smoke rising from bomb(3 shots)
GV PLO representative Hasan Abdel Rahman seated beneath UN flag
CU & SV Rahman speaking in English and reporters taking notes (5 shots)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
(SEQ.10) RAHMAN: "We cannot ignore the fact that this intensification of hostility against the Palestinians in southern Lebanon coincides with the visit of Mr. Haig to the area, who declared that his priority is what he called a strategic consensus, in other words that the illegal occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories is not a priority to the U.S. Government and that the United States Government is willing to sacrifice the charter of the United Nations, international legality and international legitimacy for the sake of the establishment of an alliance in the Middle East to counter what they allege to be Soviet expansion in the Middle East. We are hopeful that, since the mission of Mr. Haig will only polarise the region and lead to further tension and hostility, that it would fail. I am quite sure that the Arab governments have as their priority the solution of the Palestinian problem, and not, as what Mr. haig and the Government of the United States are trying to convince them, that their priority should be something else. We are a national liberation movement engaged in resisting an illegal occupation of our land, and we seek support from any quarter that gives us that kind of support, even if it is the United States."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel-Halim Khaddam flew into Beirut on Tuesday (7 April) and went straight into talks with Lebanese President Elias Sarkis in an attempt to end the latest outbreak of fighting in strife-tern Lebanon. As the two men met in the Presidential Place South-East of Beirut, fighting was easing in the capital. But in the market town of Zahle, 50 kilometres (30 miles) way, artillery battles entered their seventh day as the All-Syrian Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) continued its attempts to prise control of the town from the right wing Christian militia.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds have been killed or wounded in the battle for Zahle. The mainly Christian town dominates the Bekaa valley, which is otherwise controlled by the ADF. Syria regards the Bekaa valley as vital to its security. Bombardment of the town - which has been without food or water - has now abated. People needing urgent medical treatment have been evacuated. Christian forces in the surrounding hills are now fighting ADF troops in the valley. But the town has taken a pounding during the past week.
United States Secretary of State Alexander Haig has condemned the bombardment of Zahle as "brutal". But Mr. Hasan Abdel Rahman, the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) representative in the United Nations has expressed doubts as to Mr. Haig's motives in visiting the Middle East area.