President of Lebanon 1982–8 He was born in Beirut into a Maronite Christian family; his father, Pierre Jumayyil (b. 1905, d. 1984), was one of Lebanon's most prominent politicians. This inspired him to his own involvement, and he entered parliament in 1970. More moderate and conciliatory than his father, he became President on the assassination of his brother, Bashir. From the start, he was caught in the dilemma that he needed to secure the withdrawal of Israel's occupying forces in order to gain support at home, but that, if successful, he would be hopelessly exposed to the Syrian-supported Druze and Muslim militias. He secured a controversial agreement with Israel in 1983 and, after the Israeli withdrawal from most of Lebanon, had little effective control over the country. In the hope of achieving peace, he effectively recognized Syria's influence. However, fighting dragged on as he refused to relinquish the inbuilt Maronite majority in parliament. After leaving office, Jumayyil went into exile in Paris, but he returned to Lebanon in 2000.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).