U.S. Accepts No Syrian Alibis to Remain in Lebanon

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U.S. Accepts No Syrian Alibis to Remain in Lebanon

Post by zeez »

Beirut, Updated 22 Dec 03, 19:41
Source: www.naharnet.com

The United States is determined to get Syria out of Lebanon, shunning any compromise with the Assad regime over its tiny western neighbor and would not in retrospect forge a deal with Lebanon's Christians against Syria.
"The era of Syrian alibis to stay on in Lebanon is over," as far as the Bush administration is concerned, wrote An Nahar's political analyst Nicholas Nassif in an editorial that hit the Beirut newsstands on Monday.

Nassif quoted unidentified sources familiar with the U.S. foreign policy as saying the White House is asserting to the Syrians that the U.S. would not make any concessions in connection with the 'hands off Lebanon' stance.

"Syria's departure from Lebanon's entire territory is part and parcel of the package of U.S. demands that Syria is required to fulfill," Nassif quoted the sources as saying. "Implementation of this demand is inescapable."

Syria's longstanding alibi that its army's presence in Lebanon was necessary to stop Hizbullah's fighters in South Lebanon from staging anti-Israeli operation that would destabilize the Middle East is not acceptable to Washington any longer, the sources were quoted as saying.

"The same applies to Syria's claim that its military presence in Lebanon helps the Lebanese authorities to control Palestinian refugee camps…the United States is certain that the better equipped and trained Lebanese army can do the job and can replace the Syrian army in all Lebanese territories," Nassif wrote.
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