In Syria, there has been another major demonstration against the Middle East peace initiative between Egypt and Israel.
In Syria, there has been another major demonstration against the Middle East peace initiative between Egypt and Israel. It was held in the northern city of Hama on Wednesday and followed the one in the capital, Damascus, on Sunday.
SYNOPSIS: The latest protest was organised by members of Syria's ruling Baath party. Among others, it was supported by trade union officials and religious leaders.
The demonstrators carrying portraits of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, were chanting slogans against Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel.
The demonstration coincided with Mr Begin's report to Israeli Parliament on his summit talks with President Sadat in Ismailia, Egypt on Christmas Day. Outlining his peace plan, which was approved by an overwhelming majority, Mr Begin said there was no question of Israeli troops leaving the occupied territories of West Bank and Gaza.
President Sadat has turned down the plane which provides for self-rule for the Arabs living in the territories, but leaves security and public order in the hands of the Israelis.
Both President Assad and the Palestine Liberation Organisation chief Yasser Arafat who are violently opposed to the Sadat-Begin initiative, have also rejected the peace plan out of hand.
Mr Arafat, who was visiting Yugoslavia at the time of the demonstration, said at a dinner there that the talks between Mr Sadat and Mr Begin endeavoured to impose an American Israeli solution in the Middle East. And there are reports from the Lebanese capital of Beirut that Arab countries opposed to the peace initiative will hold a second summit within the next three weeks, possibly in Baghdad, Iraq. The aim of the conference is believed to coordinate political, military and economic strategy against the Sadat peace moves.