Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat arrived in Belgrade on July 27, seeking further support from the Yugoslav government for his embattled Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) loyalist forces in Lebanon.
BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA: (JRT)
GV Arafat descends from jet, greeted by Yugoslav President Kika Spiljak and guard of honour (2 shots)
CU Arafat reviewing guard of honour
SV Arafat shaking hands with reception committee
CU Arafat interviewed (SOT)
GV INTERIOR Conference hall with Yugoslav and PLO delegations (6 shots)
JDITA, NEAR CHTAURA, LEBANON: (DIETZ):
SV ZOOM INTO Arafat photo stuck on pole
GV PLO loyalists soldiers building barricades on road (2 shots)
SV PLO loyalists with rocket launcher in bushes
SV Loyalists placing sandbags against building and picture of Arafat (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE FOUR): ARAFAT: "We have a lot to discuss, especially the whole situation in the Middle East crisis, and especially our just cause which is passing in this crucial and critical moment in this period of time."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat arrived in Belgrade on July 27, seeking further support from the Yugoslav government for his embattled Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) loyalist forces in Lebanon. Arafat, whose troops are coming under increasing pressure from Syrian-supported rebel Palestinians led by Colonel Abu Musa, was given a full state welcome by Yugoslav President Mika Spiljak and a military guard of honour. The PLO chief was expected to discuss various Middle East affairs with his Yugoslav hosts, with a major topic likely to be the internal fighting which is tearing apart the structure of the organisations. Yugoslavia has been attempting establish a prominent position among the so-called non-aligned nations, and Arafat's state visit to Belgrade is seen as a further effort to enlist fresh support for his faltering movement. In Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley, further sporadic fighting between rival Palestinian factions was reported on July 26, although the violent clashes which erupted several days earlier appear to have subsided for the moment. The region remains tense, however, and both pro- and anti-Arafat forces have been taking advantage of the lull to strengthen their military positions. In the small Bekaa Valley town of Jdita, near the vital city of Chtaura, Arafat's loyalist have been preparing sandbagged defensive positions in expectation of further attacks by Abu Musa's Syrian-backed dissident troops. No immediate solution to the vicious factional fighting and the threat to Arafat's PLO leadership is yet in sight.