• Short Summary

    In the wake of the Israeli invasion, Lebanon has received offers of support and assistance from many parts of the Arab world.

  • Description

    CU PAN FROM Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros with Arab ambassadors to Lebanon (2 shots)

    SV & CU Syrian President Assad seated talking with Rumanian Chairman of Council of Ministers Manea Manescu (left) (3 shots)

    LV Red Crescent ambulance outside Yafa hospital in Damascus

    CU PAN FROM Doctor taking blood samples TO potential donors queueing

    SV PAN ROUND FROM Donor recovering To donors giving blood

    CU PAN FROM Donor's arm TO blood being collected in plastic bag

    Initials BB/1745

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In the wake of the Israeli invasion, Lebanon has received offers of support and assistance from many parts of the Arab world. Syria has promised full backing, and said the Arab Defence Force in Lebanon would get Syrian air support if it was subjected to Israeli air attacks. According to Reuters news agency, sources in the Middle East say such a provocation would come only if Israeli forces decided to move north of the Litani River. Iraq has offered military aid to the Palestinian guerrillas under attack, and is reported to have received permission from Syria to route supplies and volunteers through Syria to Lebanon.

    SYNOPSIS: In Beirut, the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Mr. Fuad Butros discussed the situation on Thursday (16 March) with ambassadors from her Arab allies. The most militant support has come from member nations making up the anti-Egyptian "Confrontation" Front -- Libyan Jamahiriyah, Algeria, Syria, South Yemen and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. It came into being after President Sadat's peace overtures to Israel in November.

    In Damascus, the crisis in the Lebanon was discussed by President Assad, and Mr. Manea Menescu, the Chairman of the Rumanian Council of Ministers. Rumania is the only Soviet bloc country which has ties with Israel, but during Mr. Manescu's visit, Rumania issued a statement condemning the invasion and calling for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon.

    Hospitals in Damascus, as in the rest of Syria, have responded to the call for emergency supplies for the victims of fighting. As soon as the scale of the fighting had become clear, the Lebanese Minister of Health put all hospitals throughout the country on full alert. He also called for the collection of blood from donors. His call brought an immediate response from Syria, where special clinics were opened. Palestinians living in Syria, who staged a big rally outside Yarmouk Camp on the outskirts or Damascus, went on to the city's Yafa Hospital where nearly two thousand donors gave blood.

    The Palestinian Liberation Organisation has called on Arab supporters to "shoulder their responsibilities on the political, military and material levels at this decisive stage." So far, blood supplies and medical equipment have been given priority in aid given to Lebanon.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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