...busting up my brains for the words

Saturday, March 05, 2005

International pressure mounts on Syria

The Kansas City Star has this report. I would have simply linked to the Star's website, but unfortunately, that paper requires a tedius registration process. I've copied it for you here;

Posted on Fri, Mar. 04, 2005

Bush rejects partial Syrian withdrawal

Associated Press

President Bush on Friday flatly rejected any partial withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, saying he will not accept the kind of "half-measures" Damascus is expected to propose as a compromise.

"There are no half-measures at all," Bush said during an event here on his Social Security proposals. "When the United States and France say withdraw, we mean complete withdrawal, no halfhearted measures."

During a speech Saturday to his parliament, Syrian President Bashar Assad was expected to announce a troop pullback to eastern Lebanon near the Syrian border - but not a full withdrawal, according to Syrian and Lebanese officials.

"We need to see action, not words," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said a day ahead of that speech.

A fellow Arab nation, Saudi Arabia, has also called on Syria to pull out. On Thursday, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah told Assad their relations will suffer if Syria doesn't start soon on a complete withdrawal, a Saudi official said.

Bush welcomed that new pressure, saying he was pleased to hear the same message from Saudi Arabia that has been pressed by a growing list of nations.

"Syria, Syrian troops, Syria's intelligence services, must get out of Lebanon now," the president said. "The world is beginning to speak with one voice. We want that democracy in Lebanon to succeed, and we know it cannot succeed so long as she is occupied by a foreign power and that power is Syria."

The president repeated his demand later at another Social Security event in South Bend, Ind.

"It's time for Syria to end its occupation of that good democracy," he said. "Lebanon must be free."

The United States is talking to other governments about ways to help the Lebanese establish political control after the Syrians are gone, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to her French counterpart on that subject Friday, he said. The two countries jointly sponsored a U.N. Security Council resolution last year demanding Syrian withdrawal.

Bush told the New York Post in an interview published Friday that he wants Syria's longtime presence in Lebanon and influence on its political affairs ended by May.

McClellan said that deadline was pegged to the parliamentary elections planned for a new government in Lebanon.

"We want to make sure those are free and fair elections without outside interference," McClellan said.

The wind has most definitely shifted its direction now that Iraq is emerging as just what President Bush said he wanted; a democracy. We are living in a very remarkable time. Things could change very, very quickly now.


Post a Comment

<< Home