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France Decides Towithdraw Its Men from the Multinational Force

March 2, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

France decided today to withdraw the 1,250 men it still has in Beirut, the last remnant of the original four-national multinational force sent to the Lebanese capital. There was no date given for the withdrawal of the French paratroopers but French official sources said they would leave “in the very near future.”

France decided to withdraw its men after the Soviet Union last night vetoed in the United Nations Security Council a French resolution providing for the creation of a UN force to replace the multinational force.

Official sources in Paris said the Soviet veto dashed France’s hopes to have the UN step in to fill the breach left by the four powers’ initial force. The French were prepared to wait and keep their troops in Beirut as long as they thought a UN contingent would eventually take over the task.

The decision to withdraw the French troops was taken by President Francois Mitterrand today after consultations with defense and foreign affairs advisers. The general tone of these reports were highly pessimistic.

Most of the French advisers believe fighting will break out anew in Beirut and President Amin Gemay el’s reconciliation with Syria’s Hafez Assad will not guarantee either his political survival nor a continuation of the cease-fire.

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