Partial Lebanese pullout being weighed by Israel
Israeli officials said Thursday they were considering a partial withdrawal of their troops from Lebanon but would not make a total pullout unless Syria did. The announcement came as the Lebanese government accepted a major Druze Muslim condition to carry out a Saudi-orchestrated security plan to disengage opposition Muslim militias and government troops along demarcation lines in and around Beirut.
The acceptance, a compromise step, was announced by Prime Minister Chefik Wazzan after lengthy talks with President Amin Gemayel and Foreign Minister Elie Salem at the presidential palace, official Beirut radio reported.
Wednesday, Lebanese Muslims closed ranks in opposition to Mr. Gemayel. After months of relative silence, Sunni Muslim leader Saeb Salam joined Druze and Shiite Muslim critics of Gemayel, accusing the minority Christian government of using emergency powers to set up a ''dictatorial'' rule. Mr. Salam, a former prime minister, called for Christian sects other than Gemayel's dominant Maronites to be included in attempts to end Lebanon's sectarian strife.