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Marines end Beirut task, secretary of defense says

US Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said American marines have accomplished their mission in Beirut and should be out of the city within a few days, adding that efforts to arrange the withdrawal of Syrian and Israeli forces from Lebanon had begun.

The secretary stressed his belief that the Syrians and Israelis occupying large portions of Lebanon wanted to leave the country, but only as part of a simultaneous withdrawal. He said that final evacuation will take the patience and knowledge of special envoy Philip Habib, currently on vacation. After his daylong stopover in Beirut the secretary flew to Tel Aviv.

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