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Burns urges Syria to pull out of Lebanon

Feb. 16, 2005 at 12:36 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns Wednesday called for a serious and credible investigation of this week's assassination of Rafik Hariri.

After attending Wednesday's funeral for the former prime minister in Beirut, Burns called on Syria to pull its forces out of Lebanon and said Hariri's assassination should give momentum to ensuring Lebanon's independence, freedom and sovereignty.

"That means an immediate and full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1559 implying that Syria should pull out all its forces from Lebanon," Burns said.

He called for a serious and credible investigation into the car bombing that killed Hariri.

He also said the United States and the international community attach great hope to the Lebanese people's capacity to hold general elections next spring without any external influence or intimidation.

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