INTRODUCTION: Syrian troops and Lebanese Christian forces were observing an uneasy truce in the Lebanon following mounting international pressure to resolve the latest crisis.
GV Red Cross aircraft on tarmac with Red Cross vehicles in foreground
LV PAN CU Relief supplies offloaded onto lorry with officials looking on (4 shots)
LV & GV Sam missiles (3 shots)
CU Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin speaking
SV U.S. Secretary of State Haig seated at table surrounded by newsmen
CU Haig speaking
LV & CU Syrian Defence Minister Tlas at Damascus Airport as aircraft taxis in (2 shots)
CU PAN Commander Younes and delegates greeted by Tlas and walk away from aircraft (2 shots)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
SEQ. 4: DOBRYNIN: "Well it was just another dangerous situation in Lebanon. How to find ways to ease the conflict there. That's all."
REPORTER: "What, Mr. Ambassador, are the Soviets doing to defuse that situation?"
DOBRYNIN: "Thank you very much. We are going our share."
REPORTER: "And what about the report that there are Soviet advisors...that the Syrians...."
DOBRYNIN: "No....there is no advisors in the Lebanon."
REPORTER: "No Soviet advisors in the Lebanon?"
SEQ. 6: HAIG: "I would say the situation still looks very, very serious. There is no grounds for optimism, not to say complacency, about the seriousness of the situation."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Syrian troops and Lebanese Christian forces were observing an uneasy truce in the Lebanon following mounting international pressure to resolve the latest crisis. Fighting flared for much of last month (April). It was the worst in Lebanon since the civil war in 1976 with about 500 people killed in a month. Israel shot down two Syrian helicopters in eastern Lebanon, raising fears that the conflict could spread. Syrian troops moved ground-to-air missiles in to Central Lebanon in retaliation. Sources say there have been no major clashes since the current ceasefire took effect five days ago (28 April), but the potential for a new flare-up remains.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross took advantage of the lull in fighting to fly in medical supplies. The jet was the first aircraft to land at Beirut Airport since it closed on April 22. Agreement had only been completed between the warring factions that morning to allow the mercy mission to go ahead. The Caravelle flew in from Geneva with 8.2 tonnes of medical supplies.
The installation of the Sam missiles in central Lebanon by the Syrians added tension to the situation. America asked the Soviet Union to help in defusing the crisis. Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin spoke to newsmen after meeting State Department officials in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig spoke about the situation at a Congressional hearing.
Meanwhile, two senior Libyan officials flew to Syria to discuss the situation with President Hafez Al Assad and Palestine Liberation Organization leaders. Foreign Secretary Ali Tureiki and Armed Forces Commander in Chief Abu Baka Younes were reported to have reaffirmed Libya's full support for Syria's position. Libya has already promised to places its resources at Syria's disposal against Israel. Israeli Premier Menachem Begin has described the situation as "very grave".