U.N. to set 30-day deadline for Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon
The United States has circulated a draft resolution to other Security Council members, calling for Syrian forces to withdraw "without delay" from Lebanon.
The resolution, co-sponsored by France and Britain, "declares its support for a free and fair electoral process in Lebanon's upcoming presidential election conducted according to Lebanese constitutional rules devised without foreign interference or influence."
Additionally, it demands the disbandment and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese groups.
According to the draft, UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan is to report to the council within 30 days on the implementation of the proposed measure.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Danforth, said Washington and Paris were being forced to act quickly because Lebanon's Parliament has scheduled a vote Friday to amend the constitution so that President Emile Lahoud, a close ally of Syria, can keep his job.
"The government of Syria has put the hammer on Lebanon, basically instructing Lebanon to amend the constitution -- not to change the election process but to abort the election process, and to extend the term of the president by three years," Danforth said. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)