The foreign ministers of Arab countries met in Cairo on Saturday (3 September) to adopt a unified plan of action on Israel's decision to establish settlements in the occupied territories.
GV EXTERIOR Arab League headquarters, Cairo, Egypt.
CU PAN Abdel-Halim Khaddam, Syrian Foreign Minister, arriving in car.
CU PAN Fouad Butros, Lebanese Foreign Minister, arriving.
CU PAN Jordanian Foreign Minister arriving.
SV INTERIOR Arab League Secretary General Mahmoud Riad (left) with head of Algerian delegation.
CU AND SVs PAN Delegates seated during address. (3 shots)
CU PAN FROM Delegates TO Khaddam.
CU PAN FROM Delegate TO Egyptian foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi.
SV PULL BACK Prince Saud el Faisal of Saudi Arabia addressing conference (In Arabic) seated next to Riad.
Initials VS 18.10
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Background: The foreign ministers of Arab countries met in Cairo on Saturday (3 September) to adopt a unified plan of action on Israel's decision to establish settlements in the occupied territories. The Israeli question is expected to be one of the main topics discussed at the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly session in New York.
SYNOPSIS: It was the 68th annual session of the Arab League Council. With Israel the main focus of attention, the views of the four so-called confrontation states, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon, will be of vital importance if the conference is to succeed. Following opening speeches, a seven member sub-committee, which includes representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, met to draft a working paper on what the Arab approach should be concerning the Israeli settlements. The sub-committee will try and reconcile differences which have arisen between Egypt and syria. The Arab League General Secretary General Mahmoud Riad told delegates to adopt the necessary measure to deal with the new Israeli challenge which takes form in the establishment of settlements. Indications that a unified plan of action may be hard to get came during the speech of the Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel-Halim Khaddam. He called for an Arab summit to be held next month and proposed that Arab efforts during the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly session should aim at seeking a resolution suspending Israeli membership from the world body.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi told delegates to distinguish between what was possible and what was not. The important thing, he said, is to encircle Israel and isolate it internationally. If it were left alone, this would cause a serious imbalance in the situation and the balance of Power. Other matters being raised at the Cairo meeting is the role of the Arab peacekeeping force in Lebanon and consideration of the applications of newly independent Djibouti and the Comoro Islands to the Arab League. The fighting between Ethiopia and Somalia will also be discussed.