LONDON (Oct. 29)
An Egyptian Government spokesman announced in Cairo today that Lebanon has agreed that Arab guerrillas should have freedom of action in Lebanon “provided this does not produce threats to Lebanese sovereignty, security or territorial integrity.” The spokesman said that the Lebanese concessions came in talks between a Lebanese delegation and Egyptian officials seeking a solution to the Lebanese crisis.
In Amman, Jordan, El Fatah leaders agreed to a 24-hour cease-fire in Lebanon. El Fatah said the cease-fire was accepted in response to a request by Brig. Youssef Shmeit of the Lebanese Army.
Reports from Beirut said that the guerrillas have succeeded in forging a commando supply route across Lebanon from Syria to the Israel-Lebanon border. Towns and villages reportedly have been seized and are being held in the corridor now known as the “Yassir Arafat trail” after the El Fatah leader.
Meanwhile, the guerrillas who have been battling efforts of the wobbly Lebanese Government to curb their use of Lebanese territory as a base for raids against Israel made plain yesterday their skepticism about the talks in Cairo between Lebanese and Egyptian officials aimed at an accommodation to end armed clashes in Lebanon.
(Anti-American feeling continued to rise in the Arab countries. Gen. Gaafar el-Numeiry, the new Premier of Sudan, denounced the United States, declaring it responsible for all Mideast difficulties. The Middle East News Agency in Cairo distributed a commentary, accusing the U.S. of supporting the anti-guerrilla stand of the Lebanese caretaker Government and Israel.)
Yassir Arafat, leader of the El Fatah, assailed the U.S. at a news conference in Damascus arranged for him by Syria, which has been accused by Israel of using the guerrilla issue as the basis for an attempt to take over Lebanon. Arafat spoke scornfully about the Cairo talks and again defied Lebanese authorities, declaring that freedom of action for the guerrillas was not negotiable. He urged the Lebanese to oppose elements of the Beirut Government that are against the military activities of the Palestinian forces in their country.