The former President of Lebanon, Mr. Suleiman Franjieh arrived at Syria's coastal town of Latakia?
The former President of Lebanon, Mr. Suleiman Franjieh arrived at Syria's coastal town of Latakia on Thursday (17 August) for talks with President Hafez All-Assad on the situation in Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Franjieh drove into Syria, accompanied by his aides, and was welcomed near the border by President Assad. On his arrival Mr. Franjieh said he regarded Syria as his second homeland. And he paid tribute to Syria's role in the conflicts which has divided Lebanon. "Without Syrian help", he said, "Lebanon would have been lost". He said Syria was responsible for preserving the unity of both the territory and the people of Lebanon.
Mr. Franjieh was President from 1970 until 1976. Early that year he was under great pressure to resign, but he held on in office until his term came to an end six months later. It was during that period that the Syrian force moved in strength across the border. During his present round of talks with President Assad, Mr. Franjieh said the President was the only hope for every Arab citizens. He said he wished every Arab would follow the Syrian example. The talks at Latakia lasted two days. Official sources said they covered not only the political and security situation in Lebanon but also obstacles preventing the state from reasserting its authority over all parts of the country.