INTRODUCTION As fierce fighting continued in Lebanon between Syrian troops of the All-Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) and the Falangist Christian militias, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros had talks in Damascus with his Syrian counterpart Mr.
GV Khaddam and Butros seated and talking ZOOM INTO Khaddam PAN TO Butros.
CU Al-Assad PULL OUT TO GV Butros seated. (MUTE)
SV Khaddam, Butros and Al-Assad seated. (3 SHOTS) (MUTE)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION As fierce fighting continued in Lebanon between Syrian troops of the All-Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) and the Falangist Christian militias, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros had talks in Damascus with his Syrian counterpart Mr. Abdul Halim Khaddam on Sunday (26 April).
SYNOPSIS: Both Mr. Butros and Mr. Khaddam were optimistic about the prospects for peace in Lebanon despite the continuing bitter fighting. After a day of talks with the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Mr. Khaddam said he hoped practical steps would be taken which would lead to the achievement of national accord and peace in Lebanon. While Mr. Butros said the talks had been positive and fruitful. Mr. Khaddam said he would leave for Beirut on Monday (27 April) to continue the discussions.
Mr. Butros also met with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad. The talks focused in particular on the plight of the predominantly Christian town of Zahle which has been under Syrian siege for 25 days (since 1 April). The Lebanese government has sought to defuse the situation by proposing that the Lebanese Army takes over security duties in the town and that all private militias be banned. But so far no agreement has been reached, and the death toll is rising.