In Lebanon, the first troop contingents have arrived to take part in the six-nation peace-keeping force sent by the Arab League to try to end the civil war.
GV EXTERIOR Syrian Embassy London.
GV INTERIOR Syrian Ambassador speaking
AMBASSADOR SPEAKING "As I have said, Syria's objectives are three, First to stop fighting and now. And that was the very reason of intervention. Second, to prevent at any cost the partitioning of Lebanon because this is against the interest of the Lebanese, against the interests of the Palestinians and against the interests of the whole Arabs. Third, to protect the Palestinians. And I can say now that Syria's objective number one, is to protect the Palestinians, stressing that principle, of which would be achieved not in having war in Lebanon, in having peace in Lebanon. Therefore, the two first objectives were in fact, or are in fact, to serve the third Objective
REPORTER: "Mr. Ambassador, shall we soon see a lasting peace in the Lebanon?"
AMBASSADOR: "I am hopeful. I think that our brothers in Lebanon have to come to understand that we have no other course, for the survival except to have peace. How long we have to wait? 14 months? That is too long. And 26,000 killed, I think this is more than enough. So I believe every hour is a precious one and fighting should stop now. And this is the main objective of Syria, besides from the protection of Palestinians in Lebanon".
REPORTER: "Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much indeed".
The decision to send a peace-keeping force into Lebanon was taken at a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital, Cairo on 9 and 10 June. A total of 1,000 of the force, from Sudan, Libya and Algeria, have arrived in Lebanon. Other contingents are due from Saudi Arabia, Syrian and the Palestine Liberation Armies, but is not clear how the last two will police their own lines.
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Background: In Lebanon, the first troop contingents have arrived to take part in the six-nation peace-keeping force sent by the Arab League to try to end the civil war. But today (11 June), fighting was reported to be continuing between Syrian troops and a joint group of Palestinians and left-wing forces.
SYNOPSIS: In London, the Syrian Ambassador, Adnan Omram, has been talking to Visnews reporter, Peter Whittle. Mr. Omram was asked why Syria sent its forces into Lebanon originally.