The talks on Saturday came a day after the army boosted security close to bases maintained by pro-Syrian Palestinian groups no longer protected by the Syrian military after its departure from Lebanon in April.

Siniora met with Palestine Liberation Organisation officials and was to meet pro-Syrian Palestinians including representatives from the radical groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas, aiming to resolve a burgeoning dispute over weapons-carrying.

Regulation agreements

The PLO spokesman in Lebanon, Marwan Abdelaal, said that his meeting with Siniora had been positive and that they decided to "regulate armament inside refugee camps so they do not become security islands".

Siniora said Palestinians must
not bear arms outside the camps

Siniora said on Friday that the presence of military bases outside the camps would no longer be tolerated.

"There is no reason for Palestinian weapons outside of camps. This must be clear," he said.

Siniora added that the government was not seeking a "confrontation with the Palestinians" and that he wanted to solve the problem through dialogue.

PFLP-GC defiant

The meetings came four days after a radical Palestinian group
rejected a UN demand to disarm and accused Siniora of exerting pressure for such a move.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), led by Ahmad Jibril, complained on Tuesday that the Lebanese army was imposing a blockade on its bases close to the Syrian border.

A UN resolution demands the
disarmament of militias

"The attempt to sacrifice the weapons of the Palestinians of Lebanon in line with [UN Security Council] Resolution 1559 will not be greeted by silence or compromise," the group had warned.

The PFLP-GC has maintained the bases in Lebanon for 30 years, and its stockpiles of arms were reinforced during and after the April withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

UN resolution

UN Resolution 1559, passed in September 2004, demands the disarmament of the Lebanese Shia militia Hizb Allah as well as the 12 Palestinian groups present within both refugee camps and, as in the case of the PFLP-GC, outside.

According to an implied agreement after the collapse in 1987 of the Cairo accords that regulated the Palestinian armed presence, the Lebanese army refrains from entering the refugee camps, in which carrying light weapons is permitted.

However, the Lebanese army maintains checkpoints at camp entries and around the perimeters.