World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Syria Troops To Withdraw From Lebanon By 30 April

Syria Agrees To UN-Verified Troop Withdrawal From Lebanon By 30 April

Syria has agreed to withdraw all its troops, military assets and intelligence apparatus from Lebanon by 30 April under United Nations verification, in accordance with a Security Council resolution on the issue.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the agreement reached Sunday in Damascus between the Syrian Government and Terje Roed-Larsen, his Special Envoy for implementation of Council resolution 1559, which calls for withdrawing all foreign forces from Lebanon, disbanding all militias and extending Government control over the whole country.

Mr. Roed-Larsen met today with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Prime Minister Omar Karami, Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud and Assembly Speaker Nabih Berri in talks that focused on the need to hold free and fair elections in the country as initially scheduled. Mr. Annan has previously said he expects a full Syrian withdrawal before the elections that are to take place by the end of May.

Yesterday in Damascus, Mr. Roed-Larsen said Syria's agreement to a UN verification team was subject to acceptance by the Lebanese authorities.

"Based on our meetings today, there is now a common understanding between the United Nations and the Government of Syria that the implementation should proceed in a way that would best ensure the stability and unity of both Lebanon and Syria," he said in a press statement.

"In this context, on behalf of the Secretary-General, I have reiterated to the Government of Syria that the United Nations remains committed to the implementation of all Security Council resolutions, which will also further the stability of both countries as well as the wider region."

He said Syria had told him it had already withdrawn 4,000 of the 14,000 troops it was estimated to have on its smaller neighbour's territory. Syrian troops have been in Lebanon since the early stages of the 1975-1990 civil war, at times in much larger numbers.

Tomorrow Mr. Roed-Larsen will meet with the Lebanese Interior and Defence Ministers as well as the Army Chief to discuss the mechanisms of the withdrawal.

His current mission to the region is his third since he assumed his new job in January after serving as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news