U.S.: no sign Syrians leaving Lebanon

March 1, 2005 at 3:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department said Tuesday there were no signs Syria would withdraw from Lebanon in line with U.N. resolutions.

"We certainly haven't seen the signs of that," deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said. "And I think what we're looking for, frankly, is a clear indication that Syria intends to comply with the terms of (U.N. Security Council resolution) 1559."

The resolution calls for, among other things, the withdrawal of some 14,000 Syrian troops from Lebanon. Syria is the main power broker in the country.

There have been almost daily protests against the Syrian presence in Lebanon since the killing Feb. 14 of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who opposed Syria's presence. On Monday, the country's pro-Syrian government resigned.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier called for a full and immediate withdrawal of all Syrian military and intelligence forces from Lebanon. In a joint statement issued at a meeting on the Palestinian issue, they reaffirmed "the international community's call for a full, credible and transparent investigation" into Hariri's assassination.

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