Washington — Reagan team tells Senate Marines needed in Beirut
The Reagan administration has urged Congress not to press for early withdrawal of the Marines from Lebanon, contending this would undermine the Lebanese security plan.
As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reopened hearings Wednesday on the US role in Lebanon, Deputy Secretary of State Kenneth Dam told the panel, ''Now is not the time to flinch,'' adding that if US determination is seen as flagging , Syria ''will turn its back on the path of reconciliation and negotiations.''
Sen. John Tower (R) of Texas suggested the possibility that the May 17 agreement on withdrawal of Israeli forces might be altered rather than canceled. But Mr. Dam reiterated the administration's position that Washington stands firmly behind the accord, which he called ''an important piece in the jigsaw puzzle of the Middle East.''