The United States has a new ambassador in Lebanon -- eight months after the murder of the previous permanent envoy.
GV: arrival of car carrying new U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Richard parker, at Lebanese Presidential Palace in Beirut, and GVs Parker inspecting guard of honour. (3 shots)
SVs AND CU INTERIOR: Parker shaking hands with Lebanese President Elias Sarkis and Sarkis speaking. (3 shots)
SV: Parker and Sarkis seated.
GV AND MVs EXTERIOR: Parker leaving building. (3 shots)
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Background: The United States has a new ambassador in Lebanon -- eight months after the murder of the previous permanent envoy. mr. Richard Parker, a career diplomat who arrived in the war-torn nation two days earlier, presented his credentials to President Elias Sarkis on Tuesday (15 February).
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Parker, who previously served as a United States diplomat in lebanon in the early 1960s, is considered an American specialist in Middle East affairs. On his arrival, amid heavy security precautions which included the partial closure of Beirut Airport, he said his appointment was a gesture of confidence and support by his government in President Sarkis, who himself was appointed only a few months ago at the end of former President Suleiman Franjie's six-year term of office. 'Now is the time for reconciliation and reconstruction, ' he told reporters on his arrival.
Mr. Parker presented his credentials to President Sarkis only the day before the arrival in the Middle East of the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Cyrus Vance, on a six-nation tour seeking to help the resumption of the 1973 Geneva peace conference. The new U.S. Ambassador replaces the late Mr. Francis Meloy, who was murdered by unknown assailants towards the end of the 19-month-old civil war, which eventually came civil war, which eventually came to a fragile stop last October. Mr. Parker, a former U.s. Ambassador to Algeria, said he looked forward to a permanent restoration of stability and order in Lebanon.