The prospects for an end to 18 months civil war in Lebanon brightened on Monday (18 October) with the signing of a ceasefire agreement in the Saudi Arabian Capital, Riyadh.
GV: Yasser Arafat (Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organisation) and Elias Sarkis (Lebanese President) walking in.
SV: President Anwar Sadat(left) of Egypt and President al-Assad of Syria walk in.
GV: Assad, Arafat and Sarkis walk along corridor
SV: King Khalid of Saudi Arabia and Sheik Sabah Al-Salim Al-Sabah of Kuwait(in glasses) reading agreement. (3 shots)
GV and CU: Arab leaders signing agreement (6 shots)
In contrast with the innumerable succession of previous ceasefire attempts which have failed, the latest one has an important advantage - a large force of troops to enforce it. But neither the Lebanese right nor the Extreme Palestinian "Rejection Front" were represented in Riyadh. If either is dissatisfied with the agreement, they could still make the task of a deterrent force very difficult.
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Background: The prospects for an end to 18 months civil war in Lebanon brightened on Monday (18 October) with the signing of a ceasefire agreement in the Saudi Arabian Capital, Riyadh. The agreement was reached at a summit of six Arab leaders called by Saudi Arabia's King Khalid and Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Salim Al-Sabah.
SYNOPSIS: Two of those attending the summit were the lebanese President, Elias Sarkis - in the suit - and the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Chairman, Yasser Arafat. Egypt's President Anwar Sadat - on the left - was also present with President Hafez al-Assad of Syria. The reconciliation between Egypt and Syria was seen as a major diplomatic success for Saudi Arabia and gave weight to the ceasefire agreement.
King Khalid - seen here singing the agreement - has played an important part in getting the Arab leaders together. Earlier this month he called on Syria to stop the advance of it troops in Lebanon. This was agreed to by President Assad, easing the fighting in Lebanon's southern regions.
The agreement signed in Riyadh calls on all groups in Lebanon to stop fighting form six a.m. on the 21st. of October. All armed parties are to withdraw to the positions they held before the 13th of April 1975-the start of the civil war. And the size of the Arab League Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon is to be increased to 30,000 men. In all, there were seven points to the plan including the formation of Saudi-Egyptian-Syrian-Kuwait committee to coordinate its implementation. The plan has been widely welcomed and is the first to have such a wide base of agreement. Fighting has continued in Lebanon but there are hopes that the ceasefire on the 21st. will be observed.