Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat has been in Damascus, where he held talks with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad on Saturday (17 June).
GV EXT street scenes in Damascus (2 shots)
GV INT Syrian President Hafez al-Assad seated with Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat.
MV Arafat and PLO delegates seated talking with Assad
Yaseer Arafat has been the effective Palestinian leader for nearly a decade. But reports from Beirut in May this year indicated that five of the eight guerrilla groups under the umbrella of the PLO were demanding a new command structure which would drastically reduce his influence.
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Background: Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat has been in Damascus, where he held talks with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad on Saturday (17 June).
SYNOPSIS: Forty eight year old Mr. Arafat has been facing challenges to his leadership of the PLO recently, but despite this he still travels extensively to promote Palestinian interests. His visit to Damascus followed a recent trip to the Libyan Jamahiriyah and other Arab capitals.
At his meeting with President Assad Mr. Arafat was accompanied by two members of the Fatah Central Committee, Mohammad Gheneim and Khaled al Hassan. According to Reuters news agency the situation in the Middle East was discussed in general, with particular reference to Lebanon. Reuters also say that Mr. Arafat probably briefed President Assad on his meeting in Tripoli last week with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.