News In Brief

Lebanese minister visiting Syria in hopes of new talks

Lebanese Foreign Minister Elie Salem was to travel to Damascus today to try to find ways to resume Lebanon's stalled national reconciliation talks and halt growing violence.

Mr. Salem is to meet Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel-Halim Khaddam, who was an observer in the first round of the talks, held last month in Geneva. The two will discuss talks Lebanese President Amin Gemayel held last week in Washington.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post said Wednesday that President Gemayel will try to increase the authority of his embattled Lebanese government by urging his foes among the country's warring factions to join in a broadly based ''national reconciliation cabinet.'' The Post said Mr. Gemayel would also try to work with Israel to establish a Lebanese civil authority in Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon to permit the eventual withdrawal of Israeli forces. The newspaper quoted unnamed US officials as saying these steps were agreed upon in talks between Gemayel and President Reagan.

It quoted one administration official as saying: ''If Gemayel fails, Lebanon fails and we leave. Either it works or it's curtains for Lebanon.''

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.