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Walid Jumblat
Arabic: walīd junblāt



Walid Jumblat.
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Walid Jumblat.

(1949- ) Lebanese politician.
As politician Walid has been more moderate than his father, and has sought alliances with Syria during the Lebanese Civil War, which has dominated Lebanon's internal politics for a couple of decades. Still he became increasingly critical towards the continued Syrian presence in the 1990's, and directly outspoken following the death of Hafez al-Assad. This has angered Damascus, and Jumblat is declared unwanted here.
Walid is clearly one of the smartest politicians in Lebanon, and has been successful of choosing winning horses at early stages.
Walid has opposed peace agreements with Israel, but still he established back-channel contacts with the Israelis, in order to keep his options open.
Walid has been able to build a huge personal fortune, spinning off the position he has built through the support from Syria.

Biography

1949 August 7: Born in the Mukhtara village (40 km southeast of Beirut) as son of the leading Druze politician Kamal Jumblat.
Late 1960's: Starts studying at the American University of Beirut.
1977 March: Walid's father is killed, and Walid succeeds him as head of their clan, as well as the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP). Walid met much Druze opposition from other clans.
1983: Walid's militia starts a campaign to drive the Christian dominated Lebanese Forces out of his native Shouf region. They had success but were eventually stopped by the troops of Michel Aoun. The successes of Walid made him the undisputed leader of Lebanon's Druze community.
— Opposes a peace agreement with Israel.
1984 April: Becomes Minister of Public Works in the national reconciliation government of Rashid Karami.
October: Is active in forming an alliance of 6 parties in opposition to President Amin Gemayel.
1985 December: Together with the Maronite president Gemayel and the Shi'i leader Nabih Berri signs Walid the National Agreement to Solve the Lebanese Crisis, but this never leads to any real results as it was opposed by Karami and the Sunni Muslims.
1987: Steps down from his position as minister following the resignation of Karami's government.
1989 November: Becomes Minister of Public Works in the government of Salim al-Hoss.
1990 October: A national reconciliation government is formed with Omar Karami, and Walid becomes minister without portfolio.
1992: Is appointed Minister of Displaced Persons.
2000: Jumblat calls for a reduction of Syrian control over Lebanese politics.
2001 March: Syrian troops take control over the Shouf region, and Walid escapes for London, EU.
April: Walid returns for Lebanon, after a week abroad.
May 22: Walid travels to Damascus, where he conducts talks with president Bashar al-Assad.




By Tore Kjeilen