Leftist, Moslem and Palestinian leaders met in Beirut on Saturday (17 April) in a bid to end the factional fighting which has plagued Lebanon for more than six years.
GV Armed guards outside meeting venue in Beirut
SV INTERIOR Walid Jumblatt, National Movement chairman, seated with Mohsen Ibrahim (bald, blue tie), the leader of Lebanese National Movement at meeting
SCU Delegate at meeting
SV Nabih Berri, the leader of Amal Party, embracing Mohsen Ibrahim, then greets Yasser Arafat and Mohammed Ghanem, Intelligence chief of Syrian Deterrent Force, and other delegates; Berri then sits down with Ibrahim
SV Delegates seated together
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Background: Leftist, Moslem and Palestinian leaders met in Beirut on Saturday (17 April) in a bid to end the factional fighting which has plagued Lebanon for more than six years. The Higher co-ordination Council, including Amal Party leader Nabih Berri, the Communist Secretary-General of Lebanon's leftist National Movement, Mohsen Ibrahim, and movement chairman Walid Jumblatt, met in an attempt to enforce a new ceasefire in Beirut. Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat, and Colonel Mohammed Ghanem, the Intelligence chief of the Syrian Arab Deterrent Force (ADF), were also present. The 30,000-strong ADF was sent to Lebanon in 1976 to act as a peacekeeping force. The Amal Party's growing influence among Lebanon's large, impoverished Shi'ite Moslem community and its support for the Islamic revolution in Iran, lie behind its conflict with secular leftist and pro-Iraqi groups. The presence of Palestinian guerrillas in southern Lebanon has also led to tension.