The Arab League is making its biggest effort so far to bring about a diplomatic peace in war-torn Lebanon with urgent attempts to convene a summit meeting of all Arab heads of state.
SV EXTERIOR: Arab League headquarters.
SV INTERIOR: Riad being greeted by officials and takes seat.
SV: Riad speaking to newsmen.
Arab League Secretary General Mahmoud Riad: "Our efforts are continued in order to reach a cease-fire agreement. But unfortunately both sides are continuing putting their fingers on the triggers. The firings continue, and the killings continue every day. But still we are continuing our efforts, hoping that we can reach a kind of cease-fire."
REPORTER: "And you think, Mr. Secretary General, that a limited summit, or a full-scale arab summit at this stage, could make a contribution in that direction?"
RIAD: "All the efforts that are done till now are not enough. So we have to think about new methods -- now efforts, new meetings, new -- so whatever can be done... I mean if we can have a summit this will be the thing of course. For the time being, I'm not saying the summit will achieve miracles. I don't know. But at least we can try. If some countries they think can do something, I mean we will be happy to see if one country even, if two countries, if three countries, five, six seven -- any number -- if they can come together and they can do anything in order to save the lives we will be happy to see such efforts."
REPORTER: "Finally, Sir, what are the prospects for an Arab summit right now? Is there sufficient support for it among the Arab countries?"
RIAD: "Well, that is what I way saying, now that we received the approval of 12 countries, and today I see the request from the PLO asking for a summit, and a quick one, and they say as soon as possible, because the situation is deteriorating. So I hope that in the meeting of the foreign ministers that we come to an agreement about the summit. For if we have any idea...."
REPORTER: "That meeting is at the end of this week, Sir?"
RIAD: "I invited them to come.. to convene this meeting on the first of September."
REPORTER: "Think you."
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Background: The Arab League is making its biggest effort so far to bring about a diplomatic peace in war-torn Lebanon with urgent attempts to convene a summit meeting of all Arab heads of state.
SYNOPSIS: The move was announced at Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday (29 August). The League's Secretary General, Mahmoud Riad, revealed that there was to be an urgent meeting of Arab League foreign ministers to organise a summit.