Syrian President Hafez Assad implicitly brushed aside today U.S. and French efforts to restore the peace in Lebanon by establishing a multinational peacekeeping force or beefing up the U.N. presence there.
Addressing the opening session of the Palestine National Council -- an exile Palestinian parliament -- in Damascus only hours after the U.S.-French initiative was unveiled in Paris, Assad suggested that the Reagan administration was so anti-Arab that its policies were "explicitly governed by the policy of Israel."
"The Americans do not want friends," he said in a warning to fellow Arabs. "They want satellites."
Such harsh condemnation of the new American administration reflected growing Syrian disillusionment with the United States.
Analysts suggested that Assad basically was serving notice that he refused to remove his 22,000 troops stationed in Lebanon as an "Arab Deterrent Force" enforcing the Arab League's cease-fire that ended the Lebanese civil war in 1976.
Removing those troops is apparently at the heart of the U.S.-French initiative and is the longtime objective of the right-wing Lebanese Christian militias.
The Syrian government, beset by political and economic problems at home, was not thought likely to accept such overt pressure. Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr.'s public condemnation last week of the Syrian military conduct as "brutal" and "unacceptable" was credited with explaining Assad's tough tone in his speech.
Buoyed by Haig's declaration, Christian spokesmen said the initiative represented "the first practical interest by the outside world in the six years" since fighting started here.
Reflecting the feeling that this was the first time that the West -- especially the United States -- was taking Lebanon seriously, the spokesman said, "We are going to use the days and months ahead to mobilize" Lebanese living abroad "to bring pressure on their governments."
Meanwhile, the now three-day-old cease-fire continued to fray at the edges. More heavy shelling between Syrian and Christian batteries was reported against positions in the hills above the besieged Christian city of Zahle in eastern Lebanon.