World leaders arriving in Yugoslavia for the funeral of President Joship Broz Tito are creating one of the biggest gatherings of its kind in history.
SV: U.S Vice President Mondale and Lillian Carter down steps of aircraft in belgrade and being greeted by Yugoslav leaders.
GV: Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev being helped down steps of aircraft and being greeted.
SV: Prime Philip and Mrs Thatcher meeting Yugoslav officials
SV: Wreath being laid beside President Tito's coffin by Chinese leader Chairman Hua
GV ZOOM TO SV: President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia laying wreath and weeping.
GV: Former guerrilla fighters file past coffin (3 shots)
GV PAN: Soldiers singing.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: World leaders arriving in Yugoslavia for the funeral of President Joship Broz Tito are creating one of the biggest gatherings of its kind in history. By Wednesday (7 May) kings, princess, presidents and leading politicians of 98 nations had arrived in Belgrade. Among Wednesday's most prominent arrivals were the Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, the United States Vice President Walter Mondale, China's Chairman Hua and, representing Great Britain, Prince Philip and Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
SYNOPSIS: Vice President Mondale brought with him President Carter's mother, Lillian. But many Yugoslavs were upset that the President himself did not make the trip - especially since an ageing and ill Mr. Brezhnev had made the effort. The Soviet leader said he came out of respect for President Tito. From Britain, Prince Philip and Mrs Thatcher -- using the opportunity to try and dress some wounds resulting from the last Common Market summit. She met the West German Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt on Wednesday night, and the Italian Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga for breakfast the next day.
Chairman Hua made a rare trip outside China - an indication of the respect President Tito commanded on the world political stage. Chairman Hua laid a wreath at President Tito's coffin. President Tito has been lying in state since his body was brought to the capital, Belgrade, from the northern city of Ljubljiana, where he died on Sunday (4 May). President Tito had been seriously ill in a clinic in Ljubljiana for almost four months, after having had a leg amputated last January.
In his lifetime, President Tito was regarded a father figure of the Third World. Zambia's President, Kenneth Kaunda - weeping beside President Tito's coffin - was only one of a score of Third World leaders to come to Yugoslavia. President Tito, as a founding father of the Non-Aligned Movement, had commanded special respect from many developing nations struggling for independence and often walking a tight-rope between the superpowers. In his 35 years as President Tito himself fought hard to maintain this policy.
One of the most moving acts of homage was performed by the dwindling group of partisans who fought alongside President Tito during World War Two - and from the new generation of fighters the President left behind to guarantee Yugoslavia the independence to which he devoted his life.