Lebanese leaders Pierre Gemayel and Camille Chamoun made two separate trips to the Syrian capital Damascus this week to have talks with President Hafiz al-Assad on a Syrian peace plan for Lebanon.
SV Lebanese Christian leader, Gemayel (left) seated and talking to Syrian President al-Assad
SCU PAN Assad
SV PAN FROM Seated delegates TO Gemayel and Assad talking
SV PAN FROM delegates TO Lebanese Christian leader Chamoun (in white suite) talking to Assad
SCU PAN FROM Assad talking with Chamoun
SV PAN FROM Chamoun, Assad TO Syrian Foreign Minister Khaddam (in dark suit) and delegate
SV Assad and Chamoun talking
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Background: Lebanese leaders Pierre Gemayel and Camille Chamoun made two separate trips to the Syrian capital Damascus this week to have talks with President Hafiz al-Assad on a Syrian peace plan for Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Gemayel is the leader of the Lebanese Falangists and the head of the country's largest Christian organisation. The main theme of the talks was to try to find a peaceful solution to the 17-month old civil war in Lebanon. Syria is understood to have submitted a two-stage plan to the Lebanese. In the short term it seeks to create peaceful conditions for the installation of President-elect Elias Sarkis on 23 September. The second part of the plan is believed to propose a security pact involving Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
For Camille Chamoun it was his first visit to Syria in 22 years. He's another Christian and rightist leader and was Interior Minister in Lebanon's defunct government. He was also a former president. In the past his relations with Damascus were poor. But now, with Syria backing the Lebanese right in the civil war, Mr. Chamoun's participation in the talks is expected to be of particular importance in deciding on moves to end the conflict. Lebanese Moslem leaders heave already met with President Assad and politicians will follow this week. A Palestinian commando group is also expected to go to Damascus soon.