INTRODUCTION: A right-wing lebanese delegation has been in Damascus for talks with /syrian President Hafez al-Assad.
SV: Presidential palace, Damascus, Syria.
SV INTERIOR: for mer Lebanese President Suleiman Franjieh (left) seated on sofa with Syrian Foreign Affairs State Minister Abdul Kraim Adi Khleifawi.
SV: Lebanese Falangist leader Pierre Gemayal (centre of picture) seated talking with another.
SV PAN ACROSS:party ZOOM INTO CU Franjieh.
SV: -- (left right) Gemayal, Franjieh, and President Hafez al-Assad of Syria.
Gemayal, Franjieh and Assad.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A right-wing lebanese delegation has been in Damascus for talks with /syrian President Hafez al-Assad. Their visit follows the expiry of a deadline for the former warring factions in Lebanon to surrender their heavy arms to the Syrian-dominated Arab League peacekeeping forces in the country. The arrived in the Syrian capital shortly after the expiry deadline was followed up by a public reminder from Syria -- apparently aimed mainly at the Palestinian-led left wing.
SYNOPSIS: The talks were held in the Presidential Palace outside Damascus. the Lebanese delegation -- referred to in one report as 'The Lebanese Front' -- was led by former President Suleiman Franjieh on the left. He automatically left office last December at the end of his six-year term.
Falangist leader Pierre Gemayal -- centre -- commanded the joint right-wing forces throughout the bitter 19-mont civil war, which ended when the left-wing was defeated by Syrian troops.
The Lebanese delegation discussed the situation with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. The weapon-surrender deadline was the first week in January -- but recently the Syrian Information Minister said 'the process was not yet complete'. He also reassured the Palestinians in Lebanon that syria would protect them if they surrendered their arms.