In the Lebanon, former President Camille Chamoun has said he hoped the Syrian troops of the Arab peace-keeping force would be out of the country in about three months.
SV ZOOM OUT FROM: Lebanese flag on building TO security troops and newsmen gathered at entrance to Mansour Palace.
SV; Tank and troops outside Mansour Palace.
CU: Former Lebanese President Camille Chamoun, talking to newsmen. (2 SHOTS)
CHAMOUN: "I think that all these troubles will be over, and it will be question of time before asking the, short time, perhaps three months before asking the Syrian, the Arab forces to leave the country."
REPORTER: "To leave the country completely?"
CHAMOUN: "To leave the country completely. I hope that, by the time we have (INDISTINCT), forces ready to take care of."
REPORTER: "An integrated force Moslem, Christian, er?"
CHAMOUN: "Yes, yes absolutely. There is actually no problem."
REPORTER: "Any time limit in your mind? Do you have any idea when that might happen? How long it might take?"
CHAMOUN: "Well, I think it might take three months."
REPORTER: "You're hoping that, within three months, you might be able to substitute the security forces?"
CHAMOUN: "I hope. I can't say that as surely, but, I hope seriously."
REPORTER: "Mr. Chamoun, now, if the parliament decides on the make-up of the committee to include three Arab deterrent forces members, what will the people in the districts of (INDISTINCT) and those districts hit by Syrian rocket fire? How will they feel about that?"
CHAMOUN: "How will they feel? I think they have full confidence in the decisions that which we are to pass. They know very well by the, we are not going to, just to let them down. We never can."
REPORTER: "When do you expect the court to begin its work, or the committee?"
CHAMOUN: "Oh by, well today, it's Friday, it is Wednesday, Tuesday. I think by Thursday."
REPORTER: "Thank you."
On Wednesday (15 February), in Beirut, an emergency session of parliament was held to approve a new law to punish those held responsible for clashes between Syrian peace-keeping troops and Lebanese forces. The meeting was held in a mansion once owned by a Deputy, because the parliament building was damaged during the war. While the meeting was taking place, seven people were wounded in two bomb explosions less than two kilometres away. On Sunday (12 February), Syrian Foreign Minister, Abdel Halim Khaddam, and Deputy Defence Minister, Air Force Commander Naji Jamil, visited Beirut for urgent talks with Lebanese President, Elias Sarkis, Prime Minister Selim Al-Hoss, and Foreign Minister Fuad Butrol. It was hoped the talks would prevent renewed fighting.
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Background: In the Lebanon, former President Camille Chamoun has said he hoped the Syrian troops of the Arab peace-keeping force would be out of the country in about three months. Speaking in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday (14 February), Mr. Chamoun, who heads Lebanon's right-wing political alliance, said he felt that, by then, a completely integrated Moslem and Christian Lebanese force would be ready to take over.
SYNOPSIS: An estimated 150 people died in last week's fighting in Beirut, and troops are still on the streets. Mr. Chamoun was asked when he thought the Arab peace-keeping force could leave.