An Egyptian General, Mohammed Hassan Ghoneim, has been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Arab peace-keeping force in Lebanon.
SVs Arab League Secretary General Mahmoud Riad down steps of aircraft and greeted (2 shots)
SCU INT Riad speaking in Arabic
SV ZOOM IN TO SCU Riad speaking in English
RIAD: "Today the -- an advance of the force from the Peace Arab Force -- they arrived already now to Beirut, to the airport and they will do their best in order to secure peace in this area and to re-open airport and we hope that in the near future we can send more forces. And today the high command of the force is already appointed and is General Ghoneim from Egypt."
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Background: An Egyptian General, Mohammed Hassan Ghoneim, has been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Arab peace-keeping force in Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: The appointment was announced by Arab League Secretary General Mahmoud Riad shortly after he arrived back in Cairo, Egypt on Monday (21 June) from Damascus. He had been in the Syrian capital for 10 days for talks with Syrian leaders on the implementation of an Arab League Foreign Ministers Meeting which decided, among other things, to form a six-nation peace-keeping force.
While in Damascus Mr. Riad invited the Arab League's council to meet in Cairo on Wednesday (23 June) to discuss the Lebanese crisis. The meeting was to be held at the level of the permanent ambassadors in Egypt, to discuss progress achieved so far in implementing resolutions by Arab Foreign Ministers last month on the Lebanese civil war. They called for an immediate ceasefire and formation of an Arab peace-keeping force to replace Syrian troops in Lebanon. The meeting was also requested by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) because of its concern about continued Syrian military intervention in Lebanon.
The advance division of the Arab peace-keeping force now in Lebanon includes troops from Syria and Libya. The Syrians were mainly taken from the intervention forces. Observers in Cairo saw General Ghoneim's appointment as their commander-in-chief as 'surprising'. Saudi Arabian, Algerian and Sudanese troops will also be included.