Habib joins talks on Israeli pullout

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US envoy Philip Habib joined the Israeli-Lebanese troop withdrawal talks for the first time. Until now the US team was headed by State Department official Morris Draper while Mr. Habib consulted Lebanese and Israeli leaders in Beirut and Jerusalem. Mr. Habib's unexpected presence seemed to signal US determination to press ahead with these talks - even though the larger US Mideast initiative was in disarray after Jordan's refusal to enter talks with Israel. An Israeli official said intensified talks with Lebanon might produce an agreement within a few weeks.

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