Syria vows to withdraw from Lebanon by end of month, says UN envoy
The Syrian government has promised to remove all its troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon by April 30, the U.N. envoy said Sunday after meeting with Syria's president and foreign minister.
The withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, where they have been stationed since 1976, has been demanded by a United Nations resolution last year, which also called on Syria to end its influence in Lebanese politics.
In a statement, U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq Al-Sharaa informed him that "all Syrian troops, military assets and the intelligence apparatus will have been withdrawn fully and completely" by April 30, at the latest. Roed-Larsen met with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Al-Sharaa.
Roed-Larsen said the commitment implies all Syrian security forces will be withdrawn in line with the 1989 Taif agreement, which paved the way for the end of the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war, and September's U.N. Security Council resolution 1559.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)