Arab League Secretary-General Mahmoud Riad was on Saturday (11 September) reported to have sent a message to Arab heads of state asking them to take part in a summit meeting in Cairo on October the 18th.
GV PAN DOWN EXTERIOR: Arab League Headquarters, flags outside. (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR: Minister Riad enters.
CU: other delegates enter (2 shots)
CU: Riad (left seated)
SV and LV PAN: all delegates seated around table. (3 shots)
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Background: Arab League Secretary-General Mahmoud Riad was on Saturday (11 September) reported to have sent a message to Arab heads of state asking them to take part in a summit meeting in Cairo on October the 18th. The report, in the newspaper Al Ahram, said there would be two questions on the agenda - the Lebanese crisis, and also Arab solidarity, which has been threatened by inter-Arab differences.
SYNOPSIS: The development came two days after, the Arab Leaque Council ended a series of meetings at the League's Cairo headquarters in Egypt on Tuesday (9 September). Secretary-General Riad was earlier reported to be planning yet another ceasefire in Lebanon to pave the way for the summit. A highlight of the series of council meetings was the admittance of the Palestine Liberation Organisation - PLO - as a full member of the Arab League. A simple flag raising ceremony was held outside the League headquarters the day after the decision to mark the occasion.
Mr. Riad who attended the ceremony marking the PLO's admittance to the Organisation, was also at Thursday's final meeting.
The Palestinian decision gives the PLO the same rank as a state and it boosts the international status of the PLO - at a time when Palestinian commandos are under heavy military pressure in Lebanon from Lebanese right-wing forces and Syrian troops. The Palestinians had a representative at Thursday's meeting and will probably have one at all future Arab League meetings.