Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt met on October 2 with about 600 soldiers who said they had deserted from the lebanese.
1. GV Soldiers including Lebanese Army deserters at Jumblatt's headquarters (2 shots) 0.08
2. SV Walid Jumblatt being cheered by troops and speaking to them in Arabic and being applauded (2 shots) 1.00
3. GV & SV Lebanese officer reading communique as Jumblatt listens (2 shots) 1.12
4. CU Jumblatt speaking in English to reporters (2 shots) 2.02
TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE FOUR):
JUMBLATT: "We should have national unity, national consensus and national (indistinct). All of us would accept the presence of the Lebanese Army. We would have no objections at all."
REPORTER: "Mr Jumblatt, do you believe that today's communique has anything to do with yesterday's plan for local administration?"
JUMBLATT: "Everybody is afraid from the so-called local administration. We are just have done the matter yesterday to facilitate for the citizens of the Shouf the basic things, water, electricity, if we can, roads, but it is not a separatist movement and they are ready to co-operate with the state. That's it. I don't know why Amin Gemayel suddenly woke up at twelve o'clock and was afraid we were announcing something partitioning. It's ridiculous."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: HAMMANA, LEBANON
Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt met on October 2 with about 600 soldiers who said they had deserted from the lebanese. They said they had been turned into tools to tear up their country and gave substance to fears among some Lebanese that the army would split along sectarian lines, just as it did at the start of the 1975-76 civil war. Mr Jumblatt listened as a spokesman read out a statement at the Hammana army barracks. The statement said the men were being forced to fight their own people. The Druze leader also spoke at the news conference, calling for unity and national consensus. He also commented on the reasons for setting up a local administration for Druze areas, saying it was not intended to partition Lebanon but to prevent chaos. The move has caused a furore in government circles, but Mr Jumblatt said President Amin Gemayel's allegations of partitioning were "ridiculous".
Source: REUTERS - MARWAN MAKDESI