According to the Arab League, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians reached tentative agreement late on Monday (11 October) to end the 18-month-old Lebanese civil war.
According to the Arab League, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians reached tentative agreement late on Monday (11 October) to end the 18-month-old Lebanese civil war. The announcement followed talks sponsored by the League among the three sides. However, the official Syrian government-controlled news agency -- Sena -- quickly issued a statement casting doubts on the reports of peace talks success.
SYNOPSIS: The peace talks took place at the Syrian-controlled summer resort town of Shtoura, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of Beirut and on the main road to Damascus. The various delegations first met on Saturday (9 October) to discuss what appeared to be the most detailed peace plan yet drafted to end the bitter conflict. The Arab League said the peace agreement would be submitted for approval to Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, Lebanese President Elias Sarkis, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Arab League Secretary General Mahmoud Riad.
Arab League peace envoy, Dr. Hassan Sabri al-Kholi -- seen here arriving for another session -- said later that a further meeting would be held on Wednesday (13 October) to sanction the accord. He said the agreement included an expanded Arab League peacekeeping force for Lebanon.
However, the report by the Syrian news agency appeared to contradict the Arab League statement about a successful breakthrough. The news agency said delegates would meet again on Wednesday to discuss issues still under dispute. It did not specify what areas of disagreement remained. The agency also ignored a news conference given by Dr. Kholi when he announced the provisional agreement to end the fighting.
Dr. Kholi also said all parties, had agreed to implement a 1969 cairo accord regulating the presence of Palestinians in Lebanon--a key issue separating the warring factions. The Arab League envoy spoke to reporters about the possibility of a ceasefire.