Fighting broke out between rival Christian and Moslem militias in the port of Tripoli as the country's leaders met on September 27 to find a political solution to Lebanon's ten-year civil war.
1. SV Prime Minister Karami arrives. 0.02
2. SV Cabinet Minister Osseiran arrives. 0.04
3. SV Berri and Jumblatt arrive, shake hands with bystanders. 0.13
4. SV Shi'ite leader Nabih Berri. 0.17
5. SCU Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. 0.21
6. SV Cabinet Minister Hashem arriving and greeted. (2 SHOTS) 0.29
7. CU Christian leader Camille Chamoun speaking. (SOT) 0.38
8. SCU Minister Joseph Skaff speaking. (SOT) 0.51
9. SCU Jumblatt speaking. (SOT) 1.03
10. SVs President Gemayel leaves meeting and meets Jumblatt. (4 SHOTS) 1.21
11. SCU Minister Osseiran speaking. (SOT) 1.44
CHAMOUN: (SEQ 7) "As a general picture the situation is improving but unfortunately very slowly."
SKAFF: (SEQ 8) "We are optimistic even if we have some troubles .... shooting in the mountains (indistinct) but we hope we are optimistic."
JUMBLATT: (SEQ 9) "Well, up till now it's all right but we are improving very slowly. There are so many obstacles and we cannot solve a war or ten years in four days or four weeks."
OSSEIRAN: (SEQ 11) "These meetings which are going to take place are going to be fruitful and will lead to good, and I am sure that most of the Lebanese will welcome them and accept them wholeheartedly."
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Background: BIKFAYA, LEBANON
Fighting broke out between rival Christian and Moslem militias in the port of Tripoli as the country's leaders met on September 27 to find a political solution to Lebanon's ten-year civil war. Cabinet Ministers met at Lebanese President Amin Gemayel's summer residence in Bikfaya and consulted for over four hours. They agreed to enlarge the ninety-nine seat Parliament but came to no conclusion as to specific increase in seats. No decision was reached on the question of increasing Moslem representation in Parliament. It is estimated that Moslems make up sixty per cent of the Lebanese population, but the Christians maintained a traditional six-to-five majority of parliamentary seats. Prime Minister Rashid Karami said that the cabinet would reconvene to discuss parliamentary reform when he returns after his address to the United Nations in a few days time. Despite the lack of any clear progress in the meeting, there was a general feeling of optimism among the ministers as they left. Christian leader Camille Chamoun said that the situation was slowly improving, a statement supported by Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who added that they could not solve a ten-year war in a matter of days of weeks.
Source: REUTERS - LOUIS BREYTENBACH