U.S., France demand Syrian withdrawal

March 1, 2005 at 9:47 AM

LONDON, March 1 (UPI) -- The United States and France Tuesday reiterated their call for a full and immediate withdrawal of all Syrian military and intelligence forces from Lebanon.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier made the demand in a joint statement in London, where they were attending the meeting to support the Palestinian Authority.

Their statement reaffirmed "the international community's call for a full, credible and transparent investigation" into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

They also demanded full implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 that requires consolidation of security responsibilities under the authority of a Lebanese government free from foreign domination.

Rice told reporters senior aides would meet Tuesday to see "how we can further support the process of elections ... removal of foreign elements interference in Lebanese affairs and how we can move forward to full implementation of Resolution 1559."

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