In Syria, Palestinian leaders have called for urgent support for Palestinian guerrillas in South Lebanon.?
SV INTERIOR: PLO leader Yasser Arafat enters room and shakes hands with council members.
SV: Arafat and council members seated around table talking (2 shots)
On Wednesday (21 September), Arab League Secretary General Mahmoud Riad sent a message to UN Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim, saying Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon were blocking peace efforts. Mr. Raid said "Israel is trying to blast any moves aimed at achieving stability in the region."
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Background: In Syria, Palestinian leaders have called for urgent support for Palestinian guerrillas in South Lebanon. The leaders, including Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat, called for help on Tuesday (20 September) in the face of what they called a 'brutal' attack by Israel on Palestinian-backed forces in South Lebanon. Israeli troops are reported to have entered Lebanon and set up three strongholds there. As the fighting near the Israel-Lebanon border continued, the Palestinian Central Council held a meeting in Damascus on Monday evening (19 September)
SYNOPSIS: Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat had delayed coming to the Damascus meeting, originally scheduled for Saturday (17 September), because of increased fighting in southern Lebanon. The meeting was postponed so that it could investigate the situation in Lebanon's war-torn south. There are fifty-five members in the Palestine Central Council, and many of them greeted Mr Arafat warmly. The Council is the policy-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
It was to be a crucial meeting. As the council members prepared themselves for what was to be a ten-hour session, fierce fighting in southern Lebanon was taking on a new significance. Israeli troops are reported to have crossed the border into Lebanon, in support of Christian rightist forces they have been backing with shell-fire from their side of the frontier.
The council meeting accused Israel of military escalation and aggression in Lebanon. A statement issued later said Palestinians there were facing the 'Israeli war machine' with 'relatively limited potentialities'. The council called for full Arab support for the Palestinians.