Portions of an article on Lebanon in yesterday's Washington Post made erroneous reference to Lebanese President Elias Sarkis, through a news service error. The reference should have been to Suleiman Franjieh and the passage should have said: Franjieh, 71, was in power during most of the 1975-76 civil war. Although a Maronite Christian like all Lebanese presidents, he quarreled in 1978 with the Maronite-dominated Phalangist Party and declared support for Syria. Soon afterward, 32 of his supporters, including his son Tony, were killed in a battle with Phalangist militiamen.

Arab peacemakers trying to end the bloodshed in Lebanon flew by helicopter to see ex-president Suleiman Franjieh yesterday before going into critical talks. The trip by the Syrian, Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti foreign ministers, accompanied by Arab League Secretary General Chedli Klibi, came as a surprise.

Franjieh was the only factional leader the team had not consulted in its effort to end six years of violence, which has claimed 800 lives in the last three months alone.

They flew from Damascus to see him at his northern Lebanese stronghold of Ehdeen, official sources said, before holding their third meeting in a month. That session was at the mountain resort of Beiteddin, southeast of Beirut, with a fourth member of their Arab "follow-up" committee, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Bultros.

The committee is chaired by Lebanese President Elias Sarkis, 71, who was in power during most of the 1975-76 civil war. Although a Maronite Christian like all Lebanese presidents, he quarrled in 1978 with the Maronite-dominated Phalangist Party and declared support for Syria.

Soon afterward, 32 of his supporters, including his son Tony, were killed in a battle with Phalangist militiamen. Franjieh, a critic of Sarkis, has been mentioned as a possible successor in elections next year.

The committee, which met in Beiteddin June 7-8 and in Jeddah June 23-24, now has to its credit some partial but important measures that have stablilized a cease-fire in Lebanon, at least for the time being.