Tuesday, October 19, 2004

US Official Warns Syria Over Lebanon Troop Pullout

Agence France Presse, Arab News

BEIRUT, 16 October 2004 — A top US official said in remarks published yesterday that a Syrian failure to comply with UN demands to pull out its troops from neighboring Lebanon would be a “serious problem.”

“We are determined to seek the implementation of (UN Security Council) Resolution 1559” which calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon, deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs David Satterfield was quoted as saying.

“And Syria’s failure to implement it (resolution 1559) will be a serious problem,” Satterfield was quoted in Lebanese newspapers as telling LBCI satellite television Thursday. “We are now trying to see whether Syria’s cooperation is serious. We will not wait forever for Syria and we want to see it act.” Resolution 1559, co-sponsored by the United States and France and adopted last month, also called for an end to outside interference in Lebanese internal affairs in a clear reference to Syria’s domination of its smaller neighbor.