Monday, February 21, 2005

Assad to pull Syrian troops out of Lebanon

I'll believe it when I see it but Bloomberg reports it might just happen.

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is willing to withdraw soldiers from Lebanon in accordance with the Taef accords that ended the Lebanese civil war, Agence France- Presse reported, citing Arab League Chief Amr Moussa.

Syria has 13,000 soldiers in Lebanon, according to Imad Moustapha, Syria's ambassador to the U.S. Syrian soldiers first entered Lebanon, which Syrian nationalists regard as belonging to their country, as part of an Arab peace-keeping force when civil war broke out in 1975. The war lasted until 1990.

Syria has come under pressure from the U.S. and the Lebanese opposition to withdraw its soldiers following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in Beirut on Feb. 14. U.K. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said today there was a ``high level of suspicion'' that Syria was involved in the killing of Hariri.


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