BEIRUT, Lebanon  (UPI)– Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora Saturday launched a dialogue with the Palestinian groups in his country to ease rising tension between the two sides.  Siniora met with a delegation representing the Palestine Liberation Organization before holding talks with representatives of various pro-Syrian factions in Lebanon.  The talks came following tension between the two sides after the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command accused the Lebanese authorities of "tightening the grip" around its bases outside the 12 Palestinian refugee camps. 

The Lebanese authorities set up check-points around two PFLP-GC bases – one on the Naameh Hills outside Beirut, and another in the Western Bekaa Valley near the Syrian border – after receiving information the Syrians were smuggling arms to the group’s centers.  The Syrian forces withdrew from Lebanon in late April after more than 20 years following popular and international pressure. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine representative Marwan Abdul Aal described the talks with Siniora as a "big message of assurances," saying the meeting was "positive and there was a lot of understanding."

  Abdul Aal added that Lebanese-Palestinian ties were based on "respecting Lebanon’s sovereignty and justice for the Palestinian people in Lebanon under the rule of law."
    Officials said the Lebanese government was trying to persuade the Palestinian factions to keep their weapons within the boundaries of the refugee camps in the country, noting the PFLP-GC’s bases outside the camps frequently come under shelling by Israeli war planes.
    Abdul Aal quoted Siniora as saying the Palestinian factions would not be allowed to possess weapons outside their refugee camps and that such a dialogue would resolve all Lebanese-Palestinian differences.