Raffarin urges action from Syria on Lebanon

30th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 29 (AFP) - France wants Syria to take concrete steps to remove its troops from neighbouring Lebanon as called for by the United Nations in order to avoid international isolation, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said.

PARIS, Jan 29 (AFP) - France wants Syria to take concrete steps to remove its troops from neighbouring Lebanon as called for by the United Nations in order to avoid international isolation, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said.

"Dialog with Syria should be continued. We are ready to make our contribution to implementing (UN) Resolution 1559," he said in an interview with the Tunisian daily Ach-Chourouq, the transcript of which was released in Paris on Saturday.

The UN Security Council, pushed by France and the United States, passed the resolution last September calling for an end to foreign interference in Lebanon and withdrawal of foreign troops.

Syria is now believed to have around 14,000 stationed in Lebanon, the remnants of a much larger force that was sent in during the country's 1975-1990 civil war.

Syria quickly rejected the demand, as did the Syrian-backed government in Beirut.

Raffarin said: "We are waiting for concrete steps from Syria showing its intention to respect international law. It's not a matter of isolating or separating this or that country, but allowing Libya to regain its national sovereignty its territorial integrity."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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