Border fighting between Egypt and the Libyan Jamahiriyah (formerly Libya) has apparently ended after four days of fierce ground and air battles.
SVs: posters supporting Palestine Liberation Organisation (3 shots)
SV: PLO Foreign Information Department head Mahmoud Labadi speaking.
DICKSON: "Are you optimistic that Mr Arafat will succeed? There have been many, many years of disputes between the two countries."
LABADI: "Sure, we are optimistic and we are sure that Chairman Arafat will succeed in his mediations because he represents not only the hopes of the Palestinians and interests of the Palestinians, but also represents the hopes of the Arab peoples in Libya and in Egypt, who are not interested in fighting each other."
DICKSON: "Will this dispute between Libya and Egypt, and the fact that it actually reached the fighting stage come as a surprise to you here at the PLO?"
LABADI: "Well, Chairman Arafat was mediating since one year between Egypt and Libya and he went several times and talks to President Gaddafi and to President Sadat to settle the conflict and avoid war between those countries. And he once succeeded to bring both sides nearer together, but his efforts did not succeed at the last moment because of some contradictions and because of some ideas from this party or the other. But in general we are sure that Chairman Arafat will succeed and he will go on making mediation between both countries. This is not the first time that Chairman Arafat is mediating, he even mediated between Morocco and Algeria, he mediated between South Yeman and Saudi Arabia, he even mediated between Iraq and Syria, you know the real influence of the Palestinians is Arab solidarity, Arab unity against the main enemy of the Palestinians and of the Arabs, which is the Israeli occupation and the Israeli expansion."
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Background: Border fighting between Egypt and the Libyan Jamahiriyah (formerly Libya) has apparently ended after four days of fierce ground and air battles. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt ordered a halt to military operations against the Libyan Jamahiriyah late on Sunday (24 July). The halt was ordered when President Sadat began talks with Algerian president Houari Boumedienne in Cairo. But its unclear whether President Sadat ordered the stop to military operations in response to a similar decision by Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Earlier Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat had held talks with the two leaders in efforts in stop the fighting.
Both sides claim to have inflicted heavy casualties on the other during the four days of fighting along their common 1,100 kilometres (660 mile) border.
PLO spokesman Mahmoud Labadi spoke to Visnews reporter Don Dickson in Beirut on Sunday (24 July) about Mr Arafat's mission.