In Syria, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros arrived in Damascus on Wednesday (5 July) as fighting between Syrian peacekeeping forces and Christian militiamen continued in Beirut.
SV INTERIOR: Mr. Faud Butros, Lebanese Foreign Minister, enters room with Syrian Foreign Minister Abdul Falim Khaddam.
SV PAN FROM: Khaddam TO Butros during talks.
LV: Butros seated with President Hafez al-Assad and Khaddam to side.
CU PAN: from Khaddam TO Butros to Al-Assad (2 shots)
Sporadic shelling a machine-gun fire continued in East Beirut on Thursday (6 July) and western military sources suggested there was a strong possibility of Israeli military intervention if the fighting went on. Reuters quoted Beirut diplomatic sources as saying Syria wanted to station more troops in Lebanon under secret proposals for a mutual security pact against Israel. Meanwhile, President Carter on Thursday (6 July) called for an immediate end to the fighting. The State Department said U.S. officials had been in contact with the governments of Lebanon, Syria and Israel, as well as other Lebanese leaders, to try to end the fighting.
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Background: In Syria, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros arrived in Damascus on Wednesday (5 July) as fighting between Syrian peacekeeping forces and Christian militiamen continued in Beirut. Mr. Butros met with Syrian leaders and then flew back to the Lebanon, carrying what was thought to be a Syrian ultimatum.
SYNOPSIS: On his one-day visit to Damascus, Mr. Butros first met with Foreign Minister Abdul Halim Khaddam. The talks came as the Syrians maintained their shelling of rightist positions in Christian east Beirut, where heavy fighting has been going on since last Saturday (29 June). By Thursday (6 July) more than 200 people had been reported killed and over 500 wounded. Mr. Butros also had talks with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. Western diplomatic sources said he then returned to Beirut carrying a Syrian ultimatum to Lebanese President Elias Sarkis. It is thought Mr. Sarkis was given until noon on thursday (6 July) to give clear assurances that the Christian militia would be disarmed and the Syrians allowed to take up positions anywhere in Lebanon. President Sarkis had threatened to resign, but Lebanon's rightist Falangist radio said on Thursday (6 July) that he suspended his resignation announcement on the condition that Syria withdrew its ultimatum.