The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the PLO, Yasser Arafat, arrived in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Tuesday to attend an emergency meeting of the Arab League.
MV Arafat steps down from plane and is greeted by Foreign Minister Fahmy (2 shots)
MV Arafat and Fahmy walk to waiting car
MV Arafat and Fahmy arrive for Arab summit
MV PAN Arab delegates seated around conference table ZOOM IN TO MV Arafat and Fahmy.
GV conference table
The day after the meeting, Arab efforts to restore peace gained momentum, with a surprise announcement that Algeria and Libya were sending troops to Syria for a joint peace-keeping effort. Arab League sources say Egypt had also volunteered to join the force and reports from Baghdad said Iraqi forces had left on an undisclosed mission. A four-man League delegation also held talks with President Hafez Al Assad of Syria in Damascus. They were apparently carrying proposals providing for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon and for the withdrawal of Syrian forces.
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Background: The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the PLO, Yasser Arafat, arrived in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Tuesday to attend an emergency meeting of the Arab League.
SYNOPSIS: He was met at Cairo airport by an Egyptian delegation led by the Foreign Minister, Ismail Fahmy. As he arrived, fierce fighting between Palestinian commandos and Syrian troops was reported in Lebanon. The PLO had requested the meeting to discuss the Lebanese situation. The meeting was brought forward because of what a spokesman termed the continued deterioration of the situation and the intensive fighting.
It was the first time Mr. Arafat has visited Egypt since last September. Then, Palestinian criticism of Egypt's troops disengagement agreement with Israel led to strained Egyptian-Palestinian relations. At this meeting, most of the 20 member states were represented by their foreign ministers.
At the closed door session, Mr. Arafat gave a lengthy account of the crisis in Lebanon and asked for decisive Arab action. Informed sources said Mr. Arafat told the meeting that Syria's military intervention in Lebanon had dangerously escalated the situation. The civil war is rapidly becoming one of international concern. The Soviet Union has called for an immediate ceasefire and several other countries have expressed their fears about the war. One of the discussed was to send a peace-keeping force to Lebanon.