INTRODUCTION: Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saudi Al-Faisal has met Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad in Damascus to try and get Syrian support for the Saudi Middle East Peace Plan.
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (VISNEWS - MARWAM MAKDESI)
Syria: GV Syrian street
CU Sheikh Abdul Al-Tweijari PAN TO President Assad PULL BACK (2 SHOTS)
Background: INTRODUCTION: Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saudi Al-Faisal has met Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad in Damascus to try and get Syrian support for the Saudi Middle East Peace Plan. The Saudis hope that their eight-point plan which includes implicit recognition of Israel will be supported by the vast majority of Arab League States at their summit meeting in Fez, Morocco, which begins on Wednesday (25 November). Meanwhile, in Iran thousands took to the streets throughout the country to protest about the proposals.
SYNOPSIS: King Khalid of Saudi Arabia and President Assad have exchanged a number of messages about the plan. The latest from King Khalid was delivered personally by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Tweijari, the Deputy Head of the Saudi Arabian National Guards. Libya, Iraq and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) have already criticised the proposals. They were speaking before the opening of the Arab summit in Fez. But the five states associated with Saudi Arabia in the Gulf Co-operation Council have endorsed the plan and will support it at the Fez summit. The position of Syria is still in some doubt.
One country where there is no doubt is Iran.
These crowds took to the streets of Teheran to voice their protests. They were part of a nation-wide demonstration against the plan. The Iranian marchers have denounced it as being US-inspired. Iran's revolutionary leader the Ayatollah Khomeini has described the Saudi proposals as "Un-Islamic".
Saudi newspapers said the Ayatollah has "shamefully surrendered to Israeli brain-washing" and was serving Zionist interest in calling for the demonstrations. Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia reached a new low last month (October) when Iranian pilgrims clashed with Saudi security forces during the annual Moslem pilgrimage to Makkab
The demonstrations brought even the disable onto the streets. There was no doubting the strength of opposition. The proposals, announced last August by Crown Prince Fahd are likely to be the central topic of conversation at the Arab Summit.
s InitialsJS Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved