• Short Summary

    Lebanon's military Government resigned on Monday (26 May) after only three days in power as opposing Palestinian commandos and right-wing Falangists kept up their fighting in and around Beirut.

  • Description

    SV Army officers arriving for meeting (3 shots)

    SV Mr. Dahdah entering meeting room

    SV Newsmen

    Nosrallah arriving

    CU Rifai ZOOM OUT TO GV Other officers (2 shots)

    CU Gemayyel speaking in French

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 6: GEMAYYEL: "Those Palestinians who want to go back to their country -- I mean the Feydayin -- we are not at all in conflict with them. The Palestinian question no Lebanese argue about. And I think no one in the Arab world denies it, either. Unfortunately, our struggle, our disagreement, comes from those Palestinians who hide themselves behind the real Palestinian question. They are doing things that nobody can accept."

    Initials BB/0125 PS/MR-JB/BB/0140

    This film contains an extract from Mr. Gomayyel's statement, in French, which is transcribed in English below.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Lebanon's military Government resigned on Monday (26 May) after only three days in power as opposing Palestinian commandos and right-wing Falangists kept up their fighting in and around Beirut.

    Premier Nureddin Rifai, an 82-year-old retired brigadier and former chief of his country's security forces, said in his letter of resignation to President Suleiman Franjieh -- who had appointed him and his military cabinet only Friday night (23 May) -- that his Government had made partial progress in restoring stability to Lebanon.

    Brigadier Rifai was under great pressure to resign after Moslem leaders -- who represent slightly more than half of Lebanon's population -- said that formation of the military Government violated the country's democratic system.

    President Franjieh asked Brigadier Rifai, with his cabinet of six military officers and one civilian, to continue running the country's affairs until a new Government is formed.

    The resignation of the military regime came after a weak of fighting that has seen at least 60 persons killed.

    Meanwhile, the leader of the Falangist movement, Pierre Gemayyel, held a press conference at which he said he and his right-wing supporters did not oppose the aims of legitimate Palestinian refugees but only those of what he called the Palestinians "who hide themselves behind the real Palestinian question".

    SYNOPSIS: In Beirut, members of the new military Government appointed last Friday night arrive for a meeting on Monday at which they decided to resign. The three-day-old military regime was the shortest-lived Government in the history of Lebanon's 32-year status as an independent state. It had been appointed by President Suleiman Franjieh in an effort to end week-long fighting between Palestinian commandos and right-wing Falangists that has left at least sixty persons dead.

    But from the moment of its appointment, the military regime was under heavy pressure to quit from Lebanon's Moslems, who make up more than half the country's population. They claimed it violated all the ideas and principles of democracy in Lebanon.

    Brigadier Nureddin Rifai, the eighty-two-year-old former security chief who was named Premier on Friday, made the decision to resign. In a letter to President Franjieh, he said he felt the military regime had made partial progress during its brief term in office toward restoring the country's stability.

    The Falangist leader, Mr. Pierre Gamayyel, told the press of his position o the Palestinian question.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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