Shebaa Farms key to borders, Syria says

July 13, 2009 at 2:56 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, July 13 (UPI) -- Syria has no intention of redrawing its border with Lebanon until Israeli forces withdraw from the disputed Shebaa Farms region, Damascus complains.

Bashar Jaafari, the Syrian envoy to the United Nations, in a series of letters to the international body complains Syrian-Lebanese border demarcation is not possible while Israeli troops are operating in the Shebaa Farms region, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Israeli forces seized control over Shebaa Farms in the 1967 Six-Day War, which expanded the borders of the Jewish state.

The Post, citing Arabic-language media outlets, says Syria and its proxies in the Lebanese Hezbollah have used disputes over Shebaa Farms as justification for their militancy against so-called Israeli occupation.

Beirut, for its part, has lodged its own complaints about Israeli aggression against Lebanon, particularly in Lebanese territorial waters.

Presumptive Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in a retort against a policy speech by Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu, called on the international community to condemn Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty.

"Lebanon was the victim of Israeli aggression for many years in addition to their enduring occupation of the Shebaa Farms," said Hariri.

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