Beirut - October 1978

The situation in Beirut - Cautious optimism - pessimistic trigger-fingers.

October 19, 1978 – The Situation In Namibia – The Situation In South Lebanon – An Israeli-Egyptian Peace Taking Longer Than Expected.

Beirut - October 1978
The situation in Beirut – Cautious optimism – pessimistic trigger-fingers.
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October 19, 1978 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

October 19, 1978 – A day where conflicts and peace moves seemed to pop up everywhere. From Namibia came word that South African President P.W. Botha all but reverse South Africa’s position on the conflict going on. The reversal was the result of talks between South Africa and Five Western nations attempting to inject peace in the region. At a news conference, Botha revealed a three-point plan for a peace proposal in Namibia. The main issue had been the disputed election. South Africa had scheduled an election for December, while the UN wanted a delay of some 7 months. Botha said the South Africans would go ahead with their elections. However, he added the South African government would then urge Namibians to accept the UN plan and go ahead with a second election, perhaps in June of 1979. All of this was predicated on the UN’s ability to achieve a ceasefire in the 12 year old guerrilla war. It was a hoped for, but not final agreement on a settlement.

Meanwhile – Secretary of State Vance was flying to Geneva from Pretoria where was to meet with U.S. officials who were negotiating SALT talks with Soviet Russia ahead of flying to Moscow to continue talks where an agreement was expected.

Egyptian and Israeli negotiators were beginning their second weeks of talks on a peace treaty. They were still reportedly making good progress but there were signs that the negotiations were going to be taking much longer than expected. But all were optimistic it could be done.

And Beirut, Lebanon was remaining generally quiet while the radio station that spoke for at least some of the Christian Militia units reported that some 10,000 of the 26,000 Syrian troops stationed in Lebanon would be withdrawn shortly, in a move to take the bite, if not the bark out of the hostilities from opposing groups. There was no confirmation of that report but some Syrian soldiers were being pulled back and being replaced by Egyptian and Sudanese troop of the Arab Peacekeeping army.

All that, and a lot more for this October 19th in 1978 as reported by Dallas Townsend The CBS World News Roundup.

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