US envoy in Lebanon seeks Syrian pull out

Feb. 27, 2005 at 9:54 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield said Sunday he was in Beirut to ensure the implementation of a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.

Satterfield met with Maronite Archbishop and opposition leader Nasrallah Sfeir and then told reporters the United States is insisting on implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, "meaning the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon" as soon as possible, in clear reference to Syria's 14,000 troops now in Lebanon.

A former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, he also called on finding the assassins of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed in a massive Feb. 14 explosion in Beirut.

He said Washington wanted next spring's legislative elections to be free, "away from violence and threats so the Lebanese can choose their representatives."

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