INTRODUCTION: U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig expressed optimism about the situation in Lebanon on Wednesday (8 April), saying that Syria appeared ready to make an encouraging shift in its position.
SV Saudi Minister, Haig and others walking along corridor. (MUTE)
CU ZOOM OUT Haig sitting at table. (MUTE)
CU Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal. (MUTE)
SV Haig with American delegation seated at table. (MUTE)
GV Haig and wife coming down aircraft steps, being greeted by Italian Foreign Minister Emilio Columbo and other officials. (SOUND)
GV PAN Haig, Columbo and Italian officials walking across tarmac. (SOUND)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig expressed optimism about the situation in Lebanon on Wednesday (8 April), saying that Syria appeared ready to make an encouraging shift in its position. But he gave no details as to what prompted him to make this assessment. Mr. Haig made the comment after paying an unscheduled visit on Prince Abdulla Ibn Abdulaziz, commander of Saudi Arabia's National Guard, who played a prominent role last year in mediating between Syria and Jordan.
SYNOPSIS: Before leaving Saudi Arabia at the end of his four-nation Mideast tour Mr. Haig said he had discussed Lebanon extensively with Saudi officials, and indicated that both the United States and Saudi Arabia were involved in diplomatic activity aimed at stopping the latest outbreak of fighting. Mr. Haig described his meetings with Crown Prince Fahd and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal as both frank and productive, noting that the United States and Saudi Arabia were close in their assessments of the dangers confronting the Gulf area.
With the Mideastern leg of his trip finished, Mr. Haig flew onto Rome where he made a brief stopover for consultations with Foreign Minister Emilio Columbo before moving on to meetings with leaders in Madrid, London, Paris and Bonn, to brief them on President Reagan's foreign policy.