Despite the fact that only Israel, the United States and the United Nations have said they will attend, preparations are going ahead in Egypt for the Middle East preparatory peace talks scheduled to start on the 14th of December.
GV EXTERIOR: pyramids PAN TO road near Cairo.
MV: Hotel Mena House sign.
GV PAN: Mena House Hotel.
MV: man painting silver pots on wall by entrance to hotel.
GVs INTERIOR: Rubayiat Hall (3 shots)
MVs: police guarding entrance to hotel.
GV: hotel PAN TO pyramids.
GV: demonstrators carrying placards and chanting march towards Abdine Palace (2 shots)
MV INTERIOR: film producers and stars signing visitors book. (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR: demonstrators gathering outside Abdine Palace
Egypt has named its Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr Esmat Abdel Maguid, as head of its delegation to the Cairo talks. Foreign Minister Boutros Ghali said on Sunday (4 December) that the delegation would also include Dr Osama Bazz, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Political Advisor to the President's office and General Taha Magdoub, who will be representing the military.
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Background: Despite the fact that only Israel, the United States and the United Nations have said they will attend, preparations are going ahead in Egypt for the Middle East preparatory peace talks scheduled to start on the 14th of December.
SYNOPSIS: A spectacular setting has been chosen as the venue for the talks. The luxurious Mena Palace Hotel stands in the shadow of the Egyptian Pyramids -- the sole survivors of the biblical Seven Wonders of the World. The hotel was built in the last century for the Empress Eugenie of France to mark the opening of the Suez Canal. Today it is being given a face-lift in time for the arrival of the conference delegates. The Cairo talks are the result of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's visit to Israel three weeks ago.
But to date the Arab world is sharply divided in it's reactions to his initiative. While the conference hall at the Mena Palace Hotel is being made ready, opponents of Mr. Sadat's policies are meeting in the Libyan Jamahiriyah capital, Tripoli. Among those present in Tripoli are the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and representatives from Iraq, Syria, Algeria and South Yemen.
The Soviet Union has come out in support of the anti-Sadat faction declined an invitation to attend the Cairo meeting.
Back home President Sadat can count on the support of at least one influential group within the Egyptian population. Over 1,500 artists, actors, actresses and film personalities marched through the streets of Cairo on Saturday (3 December) to demonstrate their solidarity with the Egyptian leader. It was one of several similar demonstrations which have taken place since President Sadat's return from Israel.
Led by the doyen of Egyptian artists, Mr Youssef Wahbi, the marchers walked to the Abdine Republican Palace, where they signed the visitors' book in support of what they described as 'moves to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.