The Arab League Council met in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday (23 June) to hear a progress report on the work of the joint Arab peace-keeping force in Lebanon, which began arriving earlier in the week.
GV EXTERIOR Building
SV INTERIOR Arab League Secretary General Mahmoud Riad with military officials, entering conference room
SV PAN FROM Military official TO Road and others seated around table
SV PAN FROM Delegates TO Lebanese Ambassador Mohamed Sabra
SVs PAN Conference in progress (3 shots)
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Background: The Arab League Council met in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday (23 June) to hear a progress report on the work of the joint Arab peace-keeping force in Lebanon, which began arriving earlier in the week.
SYNOPSIS: The decision to setup a peace-keeping force was made by Arab League Foreign Ministers, two weeks ago, and since then events have moved swiftly. The first contingents, from Libya and Syria, arrived to take over from Syrian interventionist forces on Monday (21 June). The League's Secretary-General, Mahmoud Riad, said that a battalion of Sudanese soldiers had been ordered into Lebanon, and groups from Somalia and Saudi Arabia would move in later. He also said that the Egyptian commander-in-chief of the peace-keeping force, Major General Mohammed Hassan Ghoneim, would leave for Lebanon as soon as arrangements for the 2,000-strong force had been completed.
Lebanese leaders have been involved in the setting up of the peace-keeping force, and the Lebanese ambassador to Egypt, Mr. Mohamed Sabra, was at Wednesday's meeting. At a later session that night the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) accused Syrian authorities of preventing Saudi Arabian troops stationed in Syria from moving to Lebanon, and of stopping Saudi Arabian aircraft loaded with medical supplies and foodstuffs from landing at Beirut airport. With the arrival of the Arab peace-keeping force, Beirut's airport re-opened after a 16-day shutdown.