Lebanon's Progressive Socialist leader, Kamal Jumblatt, has totally rejected the offer of French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing to send a peace-keeping force into war-torn Beirut.
GV EXT Jumblatt residence
GV INT Mr. Jumblatt speaking
KAMAL JUMBLATT: "There is no necessity here for any foreign army intervention neither from the Arab side, the Arab countries, nor from countries like France or other European countries. Not from America or from the United Nations itself. We are here in Lebanon making our own democracy secularised revolution and this revolution must come to an end. You see the French mandate has loft behind itself many restrictions on the public franchise and the individual franchise in such a way that we are living in a situation where only one community, religious community, is loading the dance which is completely against any principle of democracy."
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This film is serviced with English speech by Mr. Kamal Jumblatt. A transcript appears below.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Lebanon's Progressive Socialist leader, Kamal Jumblatt, has totally rejected the offer of French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing to send a peace-keeping force into war-torn Beirut.
Mr. Jumblatt made his feelings known to newsmen after a meeting with left-wing leaders to discuss the offer in the Lebanese capital on Sunday (23 May). Other left-wingers have also rejected the French suggestion.
The proposal to send 5,000 French soldiers into Lebanon to maintain a ceasefire was made by the French President on Friday (21 May) in the United States, where he was on an official visit.
Mr. Jumblatt told newsmen on Sunday that he viewed the offer with great concern, partly because it had been put forward in the U.S. and because he believed it to be an invasion threat. "It revives for the Lebanese people the memories of their bitter history under the French mandate" he said, "There is no necessity for any foreign army intervention here neither from the Arab side, or from countries like France."
Although right-wing parties in the Lebanon have regarded President Giscard D'Estaing's offer favourably, Reuters report that France appeared taken aback by the negative reaction from Mr. Jumblatt and the left-wingers. France has only offered assistance if it is officially asked for by the Lebanese government.