Lebanese President Elias Sarkis ended a tour of the Gulf States on Wednesday (11 October), then flew back to Damascus to resume talks with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad on bringing a lasting peace to Lebanon.
GV EXT Plane taxiing on runway at military airport, Amman
SV King Hussein of Jordon and an official waiting
GV President Elias Sarkis of Lebanon down aircraft steps, Hussein
GV PAN from guard of honour to Sarkis and King Hussein standing on rostrum taking salute
SV INT Sarkis and King Hussein seated talking (3 shots)
SV President Sarkis down steps of plane and greeted by Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad (2 shots)
SV INT Presidents Assad and Sarkis seated talking
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Background: Lebanese President Elias Sarkis ended a tour of the Gulf States on Wednesday (11 October), then flew back to Damascus to resume talks with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad on bringing a lasting peace to Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: On his way, President Sarkis touched down at Amman's military airport for talks with King Hussein of Jordan. Since leaving Damascus on Monday (9 October), President Sarkis had visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait to gather support for an emergency meeting in Beirut on Sunday (15 October). King Hussein has played a key role in bringing about the ceasefire in Lebanon, although Jordan is not part of the existing peace force. The official Jordan news agency said that King Hussein had stressed his support for Lebanon's integrity.
President Sarkis has been successful in his mission. Officials in Kuwait have announced that their government had agreed to attend the Beirut meeting, along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Syria. All five nations contribute personnel and funds for the Arab peace force in Lebanon. While Jordan is outside the force, informed sources in Amman said President Sarkis wanted to keep King Hussein informed of developments.
President Hafez Al-Assad was at Damascus airport to meet President Sarkis, and they resumed talks immediately. The talks, President Sarkis said later, were frank and objective, with both leaders trying hard to find ways to solve the crisis. The President also said that he was satisfied with his talks in all the countries he had visited. When asked by reporters if the subject of expanding the Arab force had been raised during his tour, President Sarkis said such questions would be discussed at the Beirut conference. President Assad told reporters he believed President Sarkis had more than one alternative measure to take at the appropriate time, especially after the forthcoming meeting of Arab foreign ministers. President Assad said it is the duty of Syria and other Arab states to give the Lebanon all possible aid.