The Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, returned to Cairo on Tuesday (19 October) after the signing of a Lebanese ceasefire agreement in Saudi Arabia.
The Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, returned to Cairo on Tuesday (19 October) after the signing of a Lebanese ceasefire agreement in Saudi Arabia. His return came one day Arab Foreign Ministers met in the Egyptian capital to prepare a full Arab summit on the situation in Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: President Sadat was greeted by the Egyptian Vice-President, Hosny Mubarak. The accord signed in Saudi Arabia has provided the best chance in months of ending the Lebanese civil war. It also served as an opportunity for President Sadat and Syria's President Hafez al-Assad, to make a public show of reconciliation. Egypt and Syria have been divided over the course that should be followed to end Lebanon's fighting. But now the two countries have agreed to resume full diplomatic relations.
The Arab League is planning a full scale summit on Lebanon and the preparations for that meeting were laid by the Foreign Ministers in Cairo. The Riyadh talks were only attended by six Arab leaders but all members of the Arab League will be invited to the new summit. Chairing the preparation discussions was the League's
Secretary-General, Mahmoud Riad. He said the full summit will open in Cairo next Monday (25 October). Meanwhile, Mr. Riad told newsmen, the Arab League Military Secretariat would discuss composition of the planned peacekeeping force for Lebanon. Mr. Farouk kaddoumi, Chief Foreign Affairs Spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organisation(PLO) also attended the Cairo Foreign Ministers meeting. He described the Riyadh agreement as "steps along the road to peace." But Mr. Farouk added that he hoped these steps would be followed by others.
There has been one note of dissention though in the Arab world's peace moves.The Foreign Ministers' meeting was not attended by Libya which has also said it will boycott the full summit. Such conferences, said Libya, were not beneficial.