The Middle East -- with diplomatic activity building up towards the start of the summit meeting in Baghdad which will bring together leaders of twenty-one of the twenty-two members states of the Arab League on Thursday (2 November), Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat has been in Moscow to confer with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.
CU Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat steps from aircraft in Moscow and is greeted. (3 SHOTS)
CU Arafat talk to officials and enters car, which leaves. (3 SHOTS)
GV Arafat with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko enters conference room and sits down. (2 SHOTS)
SV Arafat seated with delegation ZOOM IN TO Gromyko.(3 SHOTS)
OPTICAL WIPE TO GV Foreign Minister' conference in progress in Baghdad, with Iraqi Foreign Minister Saddoun Hammadi speaking in Arabic. PAN TO delegates seated at table and others applauding. (4 SHOTS)
According to Reuters news agency, conference sources have said that the task facing the ministers was a formidable one. A random look at the views of the delegations involved illustrates the point. Iraq believes peace can only be achieved through the destruction of Israel, Syria hopes for a negotiated settlement and Oman publicly supports the Egyptian initiative.
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Background: The Middle East -- with diplomatic activity building up towards the start of the summit meeting in Baghdad which will bring together leaders of twenty-one of the twenty-two members states of the Arab League on Thursday (2 November), Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat has been in Moscow to confer with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.
SYNOPSIS: It was Mr. Arafat's third visit to Moscow this year. The P.L.O. has strong Soviet backing and the Kremlin has given its support to the Arab countries who are opposing the Middle East peace moves at present in progress between Egypt and Israel. After his Kremlin talks Mr. Arafat is expected to fly on to Baghdad.
Although the Kremlin has denounced the Camp David peace accords it still bases it Middle East policy on settlement at the Geneva conference.
According to the Soviet Tass news agency mr. Gromyko and the Palestinian leader discussed "objectives of struggle for a just solution of the Palestinian problem within the framework of a comprehensive Middle East settlement". And Reuters news agency say that western diplomats are under the impression that the Soviet leaders will be pressing Mr. Arafat to oppose more extreme resolutions which might be proposed at the Baghdad summit by some Palestinian factions and hardline countries such as Iraq.
While Yasser Arafat was in Moscow, Foreign and other ministers from the Arab states were meeting in Baghdad to prepare for Thursday's summit. The conference brings together all members of the Arab League, with the exception of Egypt, which was not invited. Iraqi Foreign Minister Saddoun Hammandi was elected Chairman and spoke at the opening session.
Later Mr, Hammadi told newsmen that Iraq, Syria, Jordan and the P.L.O. had submitted working papers for joint political, military and economic action. Full details were not disclosed, but Mr. Hammadi mentioned recent Iraqi proposals to set up a huge fund to support the front-line states ranged against Israel and to send troops to reinforce the Syrian army. Last week Iraq and Syria ended more than a decade of mutual hostility by signing a joint charter for future co-operation.