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State Dept. Says There Are No Immediate Plans to Add Moroccan Troops to the Mnf

The State Department indicated today that no troops from Morocco or other countries would be added to the Multinational Force now in Lebanon until an agreement on the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon is completed.

Department spokesman John Hughes would not comment on reports that President Amin Gemayel of Lebanon was offered Moroccan troops during his visit to Morocco yesterday. He said there are a “variety of questions that would have to be answered if we get to a point where an enlargement of the MNF is contemplated. I don’t think we are at that point.”

Hughes explained that Israel and Lebanon, with American participation, are now trying to work out an agreement on the withdrawal of foreign forces and when the agreement is reached, if there is a decision to enlarge the role of the MNF, now made up of U.S. marines and French and Italian troops and confined to Beirut, then that will be the time to study whether additional foreign forces are needed.

At the same time, Hughes said, he “doesn’t see any reason why” the U.S. goal to begin the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon by the end of the year cannot be “accomplished.”