Lebanese President, Elias Sarkis, has insisted that Palestinian commandos be barred from South Lebanon. President?
Lebanese President, Elias Sarkis, has insisted that Palestinian commandos be barred from South Lebanon. President Sarkis's statement came on Wednesday (21 November) -- the second day of the Arab Summit and forced the postponement of the general session until the following day. President Sarkis, who has struggled for three years to rebuild his war-torn nation, has consistently failed to reach agreement on the South Lebanon issue with his fellow Arab leaders.
SYNOPSIS: Fifteen of the Leagues' twenty-one members are represented by their highest ranking leaders. The conference was called last year by President Elias Sarkis of Lebanon to discuss the Palestinian problem and the presence of active commando groups in the south of the country. But the occupation of the United States Embassy in Teheran and the news of the attack in Mecca briefly tuned the emphasis of the conference away from that problem and onto the crisis facing relations between the Islamic world and the West. However the main item on the agenda remains Southern Lebanon.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation is a full member of the League and PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, wishes to retain Southern Lebanon as a base for attacks against Israel. At a meeting of foreign ministers in Tunis last week the proposals by the Lebanese for a withdrawal of commando groups from the South was rebuffed. President Sarkis maintains his country has given all it can to the Palestinian cause. The Iraqi delegation led by this year's Chairman of the League--President Saddam Hussein -- say that all Arab states must be willing to face up to what they call 'Zionist aggression'.