Lebanon's fate remained uncertain on Wednesday (18 October) after the Arab Foreign Ministers' three day conference to defuse the situation between Syrian components of the Arab peacekeeping force and right wing Christian militia units.
GV EXTERIOR Beittedin Palace with guards outside. (2 SHOTS)
SV Lebanese Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss walks up steps.
SV Sudanese Commander of the Arab Deterrent Force, Colonel Sami al-Khatib, in courtyard.
LV Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, walking up steps of the Palace.
SV Lebanese Army Commander General Victor Khoury (hatless, nearest camera) in courtyard.
SV Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros (hatless)(in civilian clothes) walking in courtyard.
GV The Palace.
CU Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al_Sabar surrounded by newsmen as he leaves conference.
CU Lebanese Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss (in glasses) leaving.
CU Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel-Halim Khaddam speaking in Arabic to newsmen as be leaves. (2 SHOTS)
CU Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, speaking to newsmen in English.
CU INTERIOR Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros speaking in French at press conference.
REPORTER: "Is the key of this the Israeli collaboration with the Christians?"
SAUD: "The key to this?"
REPORTER: "Would that solve the crisis do you think?"
SAUD: "Well undoubtedly that is what has complicated the crises and no collaboration with Israel can conceivably solve the Lebanese problem."
Later it was announced that Syrian troops had begun withdrawing from a few fortified positions in East Beirut. It was reported that the Syrians leaving the positions were being replaced with Saudi and Sudanese units attached to the peacekeeping force. The reports said Sudanese units were taking positions at two bridges which the Syrians had controlled to cut the Christian militia supply lines. It was also reported that Saudi troops were moving into the Rizk tower -- the highest building in Beirut -- from which the Syrians pounded Christian positions with rockets.
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Background: Lebanon's fate remained uncertain on Wednesday (18 October) after the Arab Foreign Ministers' three day conference to defuse the situation between Syrian components of the Arab peacekeeping force and right wing Christian militia units.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting was held at the Beittedin Palace some 20 miles (32 KMS) south of Beirut. The Lebanese Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss arrived on Tuesday (17 October), the final day of the meeting. The Sudanese Commander of the Arab Peacekeeping Force Colonel Sami Khatib was there as were others representing countries that have supplied funds on troops to the peacekeeping force. Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi Foreign minister was followed by the Lebanese Army Commander General Victor Khoury, nearest the camera, and the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Fuad Butros.
The meeting agreed on some matters including the rebuilding of the Lebanese army, and the disarming of the powerful militias, as well as the promotion of an accord between rival political factions. The Lebanese Prime Minister Mr. Selim al-Hoss said the conference had achieved positive results which promised well for the future.
The Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam told newsmen that his country's troops would not withdraw from their fortified positions in Beirut. However, Mr. Khaddam said, there would be some changes but declined to elaborate.
The Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal spoke to newsmen also.
The Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros, said he thought for his part the plan established at the meeting, to try to put an end to the deteriorating state of security, did include provisions to eliminate the state of confrontation that existed, particularly in the recent period. This could be achieved, he said, at least for a great part through a redeployment of forces.