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Syria to withdraw from Lebanon
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Monday Feb 21st, 2005 9:23 PM
Syrian President Bashar al-Asad says he will soon take steps to withdraw his troops from Lebanon under an accord that ended the 15-year civil war there, according to the head of the Arab League.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa met al-Asad and Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara on Monday, as tens of thousands of demonstrators thronged the seafront in Beirut to urge Damascus to recall its troops from Lebanon.

"During our meeting, President al-Asad expressed his firm desire, more than once, to continue implementing the Taif accord and to withdraw from Lebanon in keeping with this agreement," Musa said.

Syria
is facing intense international pressure to end its political and military domination of Lebanon.

Lebanese opposition figures have suspected Syria of having a hand in the murder a week ago of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, but al-Asad's government has vehemently denied this.

Al-Hariri, a five-time prime minister and billionaire businessman who spearheaded Lebanon's post-war revival, was killed four months after he quit in a row over Syria's influence in his country.

Musa's comments came as US President George Bush again called on Damascus to leave Lebanon, where Syrian troops have been stationed for almost three decades.

"Syria must ... end its occupation of Lebanon," Bush said in a major speech at the start of a European tour.

Taif peace accord

Damascus first sent in troops a year after the outbreak of the civil war in 1975 and their numbers have been gradually reduced from a peak of 35,000 to 14,000.

"Taif and the withdrawal are part of Syrian policy. Steps in these matters will be taken shortly," Musa added.

The 1989 Taif Accord, named after the Saudi mountain resort of the same name, called for Syria to start redeployments from Lebanon within two years of the end of the civil war.

Al-Asad believes "it is in everyone's interest that the inquiry[into the killing] is carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible so that the uproar dies down", the Arab League chief said.

He said Damascus supported the participation in the probe of a UN team which is expected in Beirut this week.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said there was a "high level of suspicion" that Syria was involved in the killing and urged an independent investigation.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/EBF647C8-0D05-41A4-BD22-008B5AABE8B6.htm
by more
Monday Feb 21st, 2005 9:26 PM
Syrian Pullout ‘Soon’, Bashar Tells Moussa
Dahi Hassan, Arab News


DAMASCUS, 22February 2005 — Syria will take steps to withdraw its forces from Lebanon “soon” and encourage a UN role in probing the killing of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, according to Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.

Following his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moussa confirmed that the Syrian leadership “will soon take unspecified measures for withdrawing its troops from neighboring Lebanon.”

“President Assad has confirmed several times (during our meeting) his firm intentions to move ahead in implementing the Taif pact and withdraw Syrian forces from Lebanon according to that agreement,” said Moussa, adding that President Bashar also confirmed that the Taif agreement and the withdrawal of his troops from Lebanon had always been part of the Syrian policy.

Moussa also confirmed that President Bashar had welcomed the UN to play a role in the probe into the assassination of Hariri along with some 16 others in Beirut on Feb.14 . “President Assad has welcomed the participation of a UN team in the probe, a step that will be in the interest of all,” Moussa said, quoting Bashar as saying that he would urge the investigation to be carried out in the fastest and most effective manner since a “swift investigation would help end hearsay and assure the Lebanese people and all of us about the legal process and that matters are proceeding on the right track.”

The 1989 Taif agreement signed between various warring Lebanese parties and factions ending 15 years of civil war in their country stresses that Syria had to shift its troops from Beirut and other parts of Lebanon to the eastern Bekaa Valley, and the two countries should agree on a schedule for full pullout of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

Syria still has some14 , 000troops in Lebanon, though it has redeployed its forces in its small neighbor several times since the end of the Lebanese civil war in1990 .

Moussa, whose visit to Syria was initially scheduled on Feb.23 , pushed his meeting with President Bashar two days forward after the deteriorating situation in the region following Hariri’s assassination. Lebanese opposition has accused Syria of being behind Hariri’s killing, a charge that was immediately denied by the Syrian leadership.

Moussa met Bashar and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Shara as thousands of demonstrators thronged the seafront in Beirut to urge Damascus to recall its troops from Lebanon after the killing of Hariri.

However, the Arab League chief made no comment about the sharp increase in pressure on Damascus to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and to stop meddling in its smaller neighbor as demanded by a UN resolution.

In September, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1559 calling for an end to all foreign interference in Lebanon and for militias to be dismantled.

http://arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=59353&d=22&m=2&y=2005
by vladimir lenin III
Monday Feb 21st, 2005 10:47 PM
that place could fall into the ocean for all i care, fuck the mid east
by ANGEL
Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2005 3:11 AM
Well Lebanon better get their army down to their southern border, and they need to start fencing in and patrolling their border, or else they may end up with a bunch of Israeli settlements on their land just like the Palestinians…….and then another conflict will start where the Lebanese People will have to fight for their land and freedom for years and years to come……The Israeli Government does not have much respect for other Peoples land….Look where they are building their wall/fence/ barrier….Deep inside the West Bank where the future Palestinian State called for in the Road Map to Peace is suppose to be instead of on their Pre 1967 (Green Line) Border…..

To have Peace in the area the Borders for Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and Palestine need to be defined now and the military of these said Borders need to guard these said Border, so that we never again need to have a case like the one where Israel goes in and build settlement in the West Bank and Gaza. With these border defined and recognized by the U.N. and the World in General you can then start to have friendly relations between these four nation, because you remove the reason for the Conflicts.......
by Mike
(stepbystepfarm <a> mtdata.com) Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2005 5:18 AM
Angel, the Israelis aren't going to occupy and settle Lebanese land. They recognize that the Lebabenese ARE long time inhabitants and neighbors and the border with "Phoenecian" territory has always been around the Litani. They aren't likely to try to get back even the border villages traded to Tyre in exchange for timber 3000 years ago.

We have enough REAL problems here without bringing up imaginary ones.

In any case, the situation in Lebanon among the opposiiton to Syria has changed. With Jambatt's Druze and the Christians willign to stand together against the Syrians, Israel wouldn't have an effective wedge in that direction. What Israel DOES have is a possible wedge between an unoccupied Lebanon and Syria. Namely the small amount of territory it is currently occupying that is disputed between Lebanon and Syria, which by its location, I would guess to be Druze land (the rest of the Golan it is occupying is also Druze land but has almost always been Syrian).

If I had to guess, assuming that Syria does pull out, Israel will try to "deal" with Jamblatt for peace on the Northern front in exchange for Israel turnnig that disputed area over to Lebanon.

by Critical Thinker
Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2005 8:04 AM
Kudos for standing up to that flakey fear mongering.

Also, the security barrier's updated route meanders only some 8% into Judea-Samaria instead of the hitherto 17%.
>>>"The latest route would run closer to Israel's old boundary with the West Bank, but would still encompass several major settlements and include six to eight percent of Palestinian land on the Israeli side of the barrier."<<< For more, see
http://voanews.com/english/2005-02-20-voa14.cfm

So much for the anti-Israeli lies.
by just wondering
Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2005 8:06 AM
end its military occupation of Syrian territory?
by Sefarad
Wednesday Feb 23rd, 2005 6:50 AM
Global Jihad Monitor

Feb. 9-15, 2005



The Big Picture

A large explosion ripped through the streets of Lebanon Monday, killing former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and at least 13 others. The attack came amid mounting pressure on Syria to withdraw its military from Lebanon. Hariri had recently resigned his post in opposition to plans to allow Syrian-supported president Emile Lahoud to extend his term in office.



A previously unknown group claimed responsibility for the attack Monday, but this claim was viewed as dubious by many analysts and government officials. Al-Qaeda also denied responsibility.



Most speculation centers on the Syrian government and the Hezbollah terrorist organization, perhaps working together. Syria and Hezbollah have faced increased pressure to end terrorist activity in Lebanon. Hariri had been pushing for stronger relations with the United States, which was seen as a threat to their power. The attacks followed setbacks for Hezbollah, including the recent arrest of Hezbollah terrorists by Iraqi authorities and accusations by Palestinian officials that Hezbollah was planning to assassinate Mahmoud Abbas. Regardless of whether Syria was responsible for the attack, the blast shatters the claim that a Syrian military presence is necessary to guarantee Lebanese internal security.