UN sanctions against Syria possible, warns Chirac

23rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Feb 22 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac warned Tuesday that the UN Security Council could slap sanctions on Syria if it fails to comply with a UN resolution calling for its withdrawal from Lebanon.

BRUSSELS, Feb 22 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac warned Tuesday that the UN Security Council could slap sanctions on Syria if it fails to comply with a UN resolution calling for its withdrawal from Lebanon.

Chirac said he was "surprised by the unanimous determination, not only of the president of the United States (George W. Bush), but also of the entire EU, that 1559 be really applied and under the attentive watch of the UN".

Resolution 1559 calls for Syria's 14,000 troops in Lebanon to be pulled out and for militias such as Hezbollah to be dissolved.

"France was never very favourable to the sanctions system," he said at a press conference on the sidelines of dual EU-US and NATO summits attended by US President George W. Bush.

But he added: "It's up to the Security Council to decide. That will depend on the nature of the sanctions and that will depend on the sanctions."

Therefore, if the application of 1559 does not begin, the "the Security Council would deliberate on the basis of the secretary general's (Kofi Annan) report," he added.

Damascus has been facing growing pressure to pull out of Lebanon following the assassination of Lebanese former prime minister Rafiq Hariri earlier this month.

During a visit to Brussels, Bush on Monday called for Syria to end its occupation of Lebanon.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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