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Self-Exiled Lebanese Pol Dies

May 10, 2000

PARIS (AP) _ Raymond Edde, a Lebanese politician who spent 24 years in self-imposed exile, refusing to return to his homeland unless Syria and Israel withdrew their troops, died Wednesday in Paris. He was 87.

Edde’s death was confirmed by the Lebanese Embassy. No cause of death was given.

A Christian, Edde was a moderate who advocated coexistence with other political and religious groups in Lebanon.

Edde represented the Byblos district north of Beirut in the Lebanese parliament from 1953 to 1976, except for a one-year absence in 1964. He ran unsuccessful presidential campaigns in 1958 and 1976 and held various Cabinet positions.

Edde went into self-imposed exile in 1976 after surviving three assassination attempts.

He opposed all foreign interference in Lebanon, and said he would not return unless Israel and Syria withdrew their soldiers from southern Lebanon.

Edde was born March 15, 1913, in Alexandria, Egypt, where his family had fled after being condemned to death by the Ottoman authorities in the waning years of the empire.

The family returned to Beirut in 1920, where Edde attended a Jesuit high school and university from which he received his law degree in 1934.

His father, Emile, served as Lebanon’s president from 1936 to 1941. Edde succeeded his father as head of the National Bloc.

Edde is survived by a brother, Pierre, a financier and politician. Their sister was killed by a sniper in Beirut in 1978.

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