• Short Summary

    The President of Czechoslovakia, Dr Gustav Husak arrived in Damascus on Monday (21 May) on a four-day official visit to Syria, at the invitation of President Hafez Al-Assad.

  • Description

    The President of Czechoslovakia, Dr Gustav Husak arrived in Damascus on Monday (21 May) on a four-day official visit to Syria, at the invitation of President Hafez Al-Assad.

    SYNOPSIS: President Husak was accompanied by a delegation of Czechoslovak government officials including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bohuslav Chnoupek and Foreign Trade Minister, Andrej Barcak. They were greeted at Damascus International Airport by President Assad and the Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Al-Halabi. During the visit, President Husak and the Syrian leader were expected to discuss relations between their countries and the latest developments in the Middle East. Syria has played a major role in the formation of the league of hard-line "Rejectionist" Arab states opposed to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

    Apart from the official welcoming ceremony for the Czechoslovak delegation, the airport was packed with enthusiastic crowds carrying portraits of President Husak.

    The two Presidents were then driven into Damascus to the Presidential Guest Palace where the Czech delegation were to stay during their visit. President Assad is also closely involved in the situation in Lebanon and has been playing an active role in the attempts to find a peace formula to end the years of violence and inter-party feuding. Thirty thousand peace-keeping troops, mainly Syrians, were sent into Lebanon in 1976 to enforce the cease-fire which ended the civil war. Leaders of the powerful right-wing parties in Lebanon have repeatedly demanded the withdrawal of the Syrian forces and this issue was discussed during President Assad's recent summit talks with Lebanese President Elias Sarkis.

    After his first round of talks with the Syrian leader, President Husak attended a memorial ceremony at the Damascus Martyrs Cemetery. Those buried in the cemetery include Syrians who died in the two recent Middle East wars. The original purpose of the Martyrs' memorial was to commemorate an incident during World War One when the Turkish authorities ruling Syria executed a large group of Lebanese and Syrian nationalists opposed to the continuation of the four-hundred year-old rule of the Ottoman Empire. After the wreath-laying ceremony, President Husak and the Czechoslovak delegation returned to the palace for more talks with the Syrian leader.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7IQ9B3OLO4JG1G93EQUQPRI6U
    Media URN:
    VLVA7IQ9B3OLO4JG1G93EQUQPRI6U
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    23/05/1979
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:27:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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