Turmoil in Lebanon Seen As Dimming Prospects That Gemayel Can Survive the Latest Crisis
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Turmoil in Lebanon Seen As Dimming Prospects That Gemayel Can Survive the Latest Crisis

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The new turmoil in Lebanon, capped by the resignation of Prime Minister Shafiq Wazzan’s Cabinet today, have dimmed the prospects that President Amin Gemayel can survive the crisis, political sources here said today.

But government sources maintained that even if Gemayel relinquishes or is removed from the Presidency Israel can make desirable security arrangements in south Lebanon to protect its northern borders. The Israelis are reportedly continuing to work with local forces in the south which could be capable of assuming security responsibility in the area, possibly with only a limited Israel Defense Force presence.

It was with the Gemayel regime that Israel finally concluded a withdrawal and security agreement signed last May 17, but never ratified by the Lebanese government. The accord, which fell far short of the peace treaty Israel had been seeking was reached, after many months of negotiations, through the direct intervention of U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz.

While both Israel and the Reagan Administration stand by it, sources here say the U.S. is disenchanted with the situation in Lebanon because of Gemayel’s failure to include the Druze and other opposition elements in his government.


The Israelis are watching the situation in Lebanon closely but have no intention to intervene, the sources stressed today. Israel has refrained for some time from making any promises to the Gemayel regime, as it had done in the past when Gemayel seemed to have the ability to effect national reconciliation, a strong central government and a viable Lebanese army.

The resignation of Wazzan, a Sunni Moslem, was seen as a move to pave the way for the establishment of a more representative Cabinet.

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