By Nabil Al Mulhem
Damsacus -- Albawaba.co
A Lebanese member of parliament denounced on Thursday a call taken by Lebanese groups for a pullout of Syrian troops from Lebanon following the Israeli troops’ pullback from an area in south Lebanon it had occupied for 22 years.
“It’s totally unacceptable to link between the Israeli presence on the Lebanese soil with that of Syria,” protested MP Najah Wakeem, an opposition figure.
Wakeem was commenting on a statement by the ousted General Michael Oun, former military head of Lebanese government, who has always opposed the Syrian presence.
Syrian troop deployment in Lebanon started in 1976 as part of an Arab deterrence force, and became stronger in 1990 following the signing of the Taif Agreement, which ended 25 years of civil war in the country.
“We want things back to normal in Lebanon, and we’ve gone a long way towards that end. We are against any military presence in cities, including that of the Lebanese army itself. But the political power has the final say on whether to support police forces with army troops,” the deputy said.
In an interview with Albawaba.com, Wakeem said that he did not personally know Bashar Assad, the heir apparent of the late president Hafez Assad. But he said he knew the father, “who represented the Syrian people’s will.”
Wakeem said that he believed Syria’s policies on Lebanon and peace with Israel will not change after Assad’s death.
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