Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi and Lebanese leftist leader Kamal Jumblatt have both called on the French government for aid in finding a solution to end the 18-month-old civil war in Lebanon.
SV Fahmi down aircraft steps at Cairo Airport, greeted by officials
SV Walks across tarmac (2 shots)
SV Fahmi seated with newsmen answering questions in Arabic
GV EXTERIOR Quai D'Orsay (Foreign Office) (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Jumblatt speaking to newsmen in French
GV EXTERIOR Jumblatt leaves
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi and Lebanese leftist leader Kamal Jumblatt have both called on the French government for aid in finding a solution to end the 18-month-old civil war in Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Fahmi flew home to Cairo on Saturday (2 October) after visiting Paris for talks on the Lebanese situation with French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing. The semi-official Egyptian newspaper, Al-Ahram, said that Mr. Fahmi wanted to find out whether France was still ready to fulfil an earlier offer to send peacekeeping troops into lebanon. At the airport Mr. Fahmi, speaking in Arabic, tolo newsmen that the results of his Paris talks would emerge in a few days and refused to elaborate any further.
After leaving the airport, Mr. Fahmi had more talks with Mr. Jumblatt who'd been in Cairo trying to work out a peace plan with Egyptian leaders. The next day (October 3), Mr. jumblatt flew to Paris to continue the talks with French leaders.
At Paris airport, he was met by French officials and taken immediately to the foreign office. Mr. Jumblatt's already visited Saudi Arabia and Iraq in addition to Egypt in a bid to muster support for demands for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.
Although Mr. Fahmi didn't specify it when he returned to Cairo, there was strong speculation among newsmen there that Paris could be a venue for Lebanese peace talks. And Mr. Jumblatt's subsequent visit to the French capital and his talks with French Foreign Minister Louis de Guiringuad further strengthened the belief that France may be asked to contribute to the peace initiative by playing host to mediation talks there.