As the crises in Lebanon continues, Middle East envoys are visiting President Elias Sarkis in an effort to find a peaceful solution.
As the crises in Lebanon continues, Middle East envoys are visiting President Elias Sarkis in an effort to find a peaceful solution. President Sarkis has threatened to resign after several after several days of fierce fighting between Syrian troops and Christian Rightist Militia in eastern Beirut. Observers are concerned that fighting could escalate, if the President were to carry out his threat, and that Israel and Syria could declare war against each other.
SYNOPSIS: One of the latest peace envoys to the troubled area has been Kuwaiti Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, who flew first to Damascus to meet his Syrian counterpart, Mr. Abdel Halim Khaddam on Saturday (8 July). Earlier Kuwait's chief Government spokesman, Mr. Abdel-Aziz Hussein had told newsmen that all Arabs should try to prevent bloodshed in the Lebanon.
Sheikh Sabah also held talks with the Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. They discussed Israel's warning that it would not let the Syrians -- who are the main force among the Arab peacekeepers in the Lebanon -- undertake what the Israelis termed the "massacre" of Christian civilians. The Sheikh gave President Assad a personal message from the Emir of Kuwait on the matter.
The Kuwaiti envoy's next destination was Beirut where he called on President Sarkis at the Baabda Palace on Sunday. There was no official report on the outcome of the meeting but the right-wing Falangist Radio claimed Sheikh Sabah had proposed a mini Arab summit to resolve the crisis. Before the Minister returned to Kuwait, the State-run Beirut Radio quoted him as saving the question of a restricted summit was up to President Sarkis to decide.
Premier Selim al-Hoss, who also attended the discussions, later told Beirut Radio that president Sarkis was adhering to his threat to resign. To date, the President has been a symbol of unity commanding respect from both Christian and Moslem factions.