Arab foreign ministers decided on Friday (October 15) to postpone a full-scale Arab summit on Lebanon until the results were known of a preliminary meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday (17 October).
GV Arab League building, Cairo, Egypt
MV PLO Representative Kaddoumy arriving
MV Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi arrives
MV Kuwaiti delegation arriving
MV Salih Muti Al-Yafi of South Yemen arrives
MV Dr. Ahmed Laraki of Morocco
MVS Sheik Mohamed Mubarak Ali Khalifa of Bahrain, watched by cameramen (2 shots)
MVs Sheik Saif Bin Saeed Al-Ghobash of the United Arab Emirates arrives, and other foreign ministers arriving (2 shots)
MV Habib Chatti, Tunisian Foreign Minister, speaking to newsmen
MV Mr. Hassen Ibraheen of Jordan arrives
GV INTERIOR PAN Conference table
MV Delegates at conference table, with Mehmoud Riad and Habib Chatti seated at head of table
MV Syrian delegation
MV Riad and Chatti
GV Conference table
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Background: Arab foreign ministers decided on Friday (October 15) to postpone a full-scale Arab summit on Lebanon until the results were known of a preliminary meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday (17 October).
SYNOPSIS: The foreign ministers met in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, to discuss the proposed summit, which was put in doubt because Syria announced it was sending Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam instead of President Hafez Al-Assad. It was reported that President Anwar Sadat of Egypt threatened to stay away if President Assad did not attend the proposed meeting.
Further doubt was cast on the proposed summit when it was announced that Saudi Arabia was convening a meeting to deal with the Lebanese crisis. Representatives from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation -- the PLO -- were due to meet in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on Sunday after a settlement of objections raised by Syria over who should take part. The Riyadh meeting gave new impetus to Arab efforts to engineer a solution to the 18-month Lebanese crisis, according to reports.
The Cairo meeting was chaired by Tunisian Foreign Minister Habib El Chatti, but only about half of the 21 members of the Arab League sent foreign ministers to the meeting, reportedly reflecting misgivings over the prospects of a summit being held soon.
Mr. Chatti said the meeting decided that because of the Riyadh gathering, it would be impossible to start the full summit on Sunday (17 October), the date originally fixed. He said he did not think the Riyadh summit would rule out the need for a full summit. Arab diplomats said it was hoped a possible solution to the Lebanese crisis could be agreed in Riyadh, and later ratified by the full summit.