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Syria pledges Lebanon troop pullback by end of March

[JURIST] Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese President Emile Lahoud [official profile] agreed at a summit Monday that Syria would pull its troops back from their current positions in Lebanon [government website in Arabic] and move to the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon by the end of March. Syrian troops originally entered Lebanon as peacekeepers and helped end a 15-year civil war in 1990. The Taif accord [excerpts] that officially ended the civil war in 1989 called for the phased withdraw of all troops from Lebanon, but that withdrawal never occurred, prompting the UN Security Council to pass Resolution 1559 [official PDF text] in November 2004, calling for the complete withdraw of all foreign troops. The US has specifically called for the complete withdraw of all Syrian troops by May, the planned month for the beginning of a series of elections in Lebanon. BBC News has more. The government-run Syrian Arab News Agency has local coverage.

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