Guns stayed silent in Beirut while new diplomatic moves raised cautious hopes of a breakthrough in efforts to end the Lebanese conflict. The ceasefire proclaimed by Israel after three days of bombarding Beirut seemed to be holding. During the lull, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation studied new American proposals for neutralising the Palestinian military presence in Lebanon. No details were given but the former Lebanese Prime Minister Saeb Salam, who has played a go-between role in negotiations, told reporters, “There has been a new development. I believe things are looking better.”
PM meets Abdullah
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and J&K Chief Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah met for the second time to remove “misunderstandings”, if any, between them. Mrs Gandhi, accompanied by Governor B K Nehru, had a closed-door meeting for over 40 minutes with the ailing Kashmir leader at the latter’s residence in Srinagar. Farooq Abdullah, the Sheikh’s son and president of the ruling National Conference, said the two had a “cordial meeting”. Asked if the misunderstanding between them was removed by this meeting, he replied, “There was, in fact, no misunderstanding” and added “but most of the things were sorted out”.
US Secretary of State Alexander Haig said he had resigned as he felt the Reagan administration’s foreign policy had strayed from its goal of “consistency, clarity and steadiness of purpose.” Haig, appearing in the State Department auditorium, read his letter of resignation, which said he and the President had agreed on the three aims at the start of the administration. “In recent months,” he said, “it has become clear to me that the foreign policy on which we embarked together was shifting from that careful course.”
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