The President of the Supreme Moslem Council in Lebanon, Mr. Chafik Wazzan held talks with?
SV President Al-Assad (left) talking to Mr. Wazzan (2 shots)
CU and SV Wazzan speaking to reporters (2 shots)
Initials RH/0107 RH/DE/PNG/0116
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The President of the Supreme Moslem Council in Lebanon, Mr. Chafik Wazzan held talks with Syrian President, Hafez Al-Assad in damascus on Saturday (10 April).
His visit followed a move by the Lebanese parliament, the day before. It passed a law enabling it to elect a new president straight away, and that has opened the way for a political solution to the country's crisis.
On Sunday (11 April) Lebanese leftists agreed to extend the civil war of truce until the end of April. It was due to expire on Monday (12 April). The extension had been anticipated after the law on presidential elections had been passed.
The left-wing leader, Kamal Junblatt, had demanded the resignation of President Suleman Franjieh and the election of a new head of state.. His faction said they would freeze all dealings with foreign mediators until a new president was elected and a new government formed.
The new law removed the legal obstacles to the election of a new president, but Mr. Franjieh has yet to make it clear whether he is ready to resign.
At a news conference, Mr. Wazzan thanked Syria for her initiative in helping to stop the fighting in the Lebanese civil war.
Syrian pressure and mediation have been directly responsible for the two cease-fires this year, and its troops have occupied the Lebanese border post on the Beirut-Damascus highway.
SYNOPSIS: Syria President, Hafez Al-Assad, seen here on the left, had talks with the President of Lebanon's Supreme Moslem Council, Mr. Chafik Wazzan, on Saturday. The two men met in Damascus the day after the Lebanese Parliament had passed a law enabling it to elect a new president immediately. Syrian pressure and mediation have been directly responsible for the two cease-fires in Lebanon this year.
Syrian troops also occupy the Lebanese border post on the Beirut to Damascus highway. Speaking to journalists, Mr. Wazzan thanked Syria for her initiative in helping to stop the fighting in the civil war. But the left wing faction in Lebanon has demanded that Syria withdraw her troops. While extending the current truce until the end of April, the leftists pointed out what they termed the danger of military involvement through the Syrian Army's illegal entry into Lebanon.