Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Arab FMs support Syrian occupation of Lebanon

CAIRO, Sept. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Arab foreign ministers on Tuesday voiced 'full solidarity' with Lebanon against any attempt to sever its ties with Syria.

'The ministers show full solidarity with Lebanon against any attempt to hit historic relations with Syria,' said a statement issued at the end of a regular meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.

The ministers also renewed their rejection to a unilateral US sanction against Syria, the statement said.

On Sept. 2, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution demanding respect for Lebanon's political independence and withdrawal of Syrian forces from the country.

The United States, which accuses Syria of exerting too much influence over extending Lebanese incumbent President Emile Lahoud's six-year term, has circulated a draft resolution to other Security Council members.

Syria sent troops to help quell a year-old civil war in Lebanonin 1976 and the forces remained through 14 years of fighting and are still deployed in the country.

Lebanon's government has reiterated that the presence of the Syrian army has been a stabilizing factor since its 1975-90 civil war."