LEBANON - Jan. 8 - Syria 'Welcomes' Jumblatt.
Druze leader Walid Jumblatt says he has received a telephone call
from Ghazi Canaan, head of Syrian intelligence in Lebanon, informing him
that a 2-month ban on his entering of Syria has ended. (The decision
reflects an unusual swift reversal by Syria, which declared Jumblatt
persona non-grata in November after he questioned in parliament the need
for stationing 35,000 Syrian troops in Lebanon. A pro-Syrian deputy in
the Beirut parliament responded by indirectly threatening to kill him
and Syria subsequently banned him from entering its territory. The Druze
leader, whose fierce mountain people played a big role in Lebanon's
1975-1990 civil war, had kept a low profile since then. Syria has
managed Lebanese politics since it ended the civil war in 1990 by
defeating Christian forces).