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Elias Hrawi, 80; Helped Lebanon to Rebuild as Postwar President

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Elias Hrawi, 80, who as president rebuilt Lebanon after a 15-year civil war but also helped Syria take over his country, died of cancer Friday at the American University of Beirut hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for a chronic illness in recent weeks, a senior Lebanese official said.

A sharp-tongued, energetic Maronite Catholic, Hrawi was elected by parliament to a six-year term in 1989.

His top mission at the time was to oversee implementation of a peace agreement brokered by the Arab League to end the conflict between warring Muslim and Christian militias and rebuild the shattered country.

His term was extended in 1995, but parliament replaced him three years later with current President Emile Lahoud, a pro-Syrian army commander.

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