INTRODUCTION: An Arab conference, aimed at ending the bloodshed in Lebanon, held its second round of talks on Wednesday (24 June) in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.
SV Klibi leaving aircraft and walking with group
SV Group walking
SV (2 shots) Demonstration supporting Egyptian poet Najm
HIGH ANGLE VIEW Demonstration
TILT DOWN Building to demonstrators
SV UN Van
RV Demonstrators chanting
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Background: INTRODUCTION: An Arab conference, aimed at ending the bloodshed in Lebanon, held its second round of talks on Wednesday (24 June) in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. The talks were attended by the Foreign Ministers of Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia along with Mr. Chadli Klibi, Secretary-General of the Arab League. The group is known as the Arab Follow-up Committee and two weeks ago they brought about the most effective ceasefire in Lebanon for three months.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Klibi arrived in Beirut on Sunday (21 June) on his way to the opening of the Committee's conference in Saudi Arabia. It followed the meeting in Lebanon earlier this month when the Arab ministers arranged the ceasefire. At the Jeddah talks Syria demanded priority be given to the issue of the right-wing Falangist militia's links with Israel. But Saudi Arabia wanted to concentrate on stopping the internal strife in Lebanon.
The Lebanese government saw little prospect of the Jeddah meeting finding a long term peace formula but hoped it would agree on limited security measures.
A different kind of political issue was raised that day by these demonstrators in Beirut. They were calling for the release of Fouad Najm, and Egyptian poet and musician who was jailed in Cairo in April for criticising government policies.
Fouad Najm has been in prison many times for opposing the Egyptian government's social attitudes in poems, he's set to music. On May 10, Najm started a hunger strike after being placed in solitary confinement. These protestors have appealed to United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim to take action to set the poet free.