US Demands Syrian Withdrawal From Lebanon
February 15, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The United States demanded on Tuesday Syria withdraw its
troops from Lebanon and stop its alleged support of terror.
Former Lebanese Prime Minister RafikHariri was killed in a powerful
explosion in central Beirut on Monday, Lebanese officials and medical
sources said."The (UN) Security Council resolution that was passed last
September was very clear in terms of what the expectations are with regards
to Lebanon. It stated very clearly that foreign troops need to be withdrawn
from Lebanon," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said at a briefing.
"Syria's continued presence in Lebanon is a destabilizing force in the
region and a destabilizing force in Lebanon. Syria's continued support for
terrorism is a problem, it is a concern that we have expressed directly to
the government of Syria," he said.
Syria has maintained some 14,000 troops and intelligence officials in
Lebanon in disregard of the UN resolution.
"Syria needs to change its behavior and use its influence in a constructive
way to do what it can to prevent attacks like this from happening in the
first place," McClellan added.
The United States made the demand after a huge explosion in Beirut on Monday
killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 14 other people. This
was believed to be the worst attack in the Lebanese capital since the end of
the 1975-1990 civil war.