In an attempt to secure Arab action on the issue of South Lebanon, Lebanese Prime Minister Selim Al-Hoss has been visiting Syria.
In an attempt to secure Arab action on the issue of South Lebanon, Lebanese Prime Minister Selim Al-Hoss has been visiting Syria. Before he left, however, he briefed Arab journalists in Beirut on the seriousness of the situation in the violence-torn southern regions of Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: Lebanese Prime Minister Selim Al-Hoss is known to want concerted Arab action on the violence in Southern Lebanon. At this meeting of the Arab journalists' Union in Beirut he urged ??? Arab countries to get together and discuss the present situation.
Prime Minister Al-Hoss told his audience there was not one single Arab country that was not linked in some way with the situation in South Lebanon. The area has suffered heavy human and material losses for several years now; it has been the scene of fierce internal clashes between Palestinian leftist forces and rightist militiamen. Also it has been the victim of frequent Israeli raids from air, land and sea. The time had come, said Mr. Al-Hoss for Arabs to do something about it.
His visit to Syria was also to gain support for an Arab initiative on South Lebanon. At the border he was met by Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Ali A-Halabi. Syria has thirty thousand peacekeeping troops in Lebanon under an Arab League mandate and their deployment was one of the main topics for discussions between the two leaders.
Later, in Damascus, the two prime ministers discussed future relations between Lebanon and Syria. These reached a low point in 1978 during hostilities between Syrian peacekeeping force and Lebanese Christians.
Syria's Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam also joined Mr. Al-Hoss for talks at the government Guest House.
After briefing by Prime Minister Al-Halabi, Mr. Al-Hoss travelled with him to meet Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad at the presidential palace. He told reporters he hoped to gain the support of Syria at any future Arab summit on the Southern Lebanese question.