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Syria And Lebanon Establish Diplomatic Relations

Establishment Of Syrian-Lebanese Diplomatic Ties A ‘Landmark Event’ – Ban

New York, Oct 15 2008 2:10PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the move by Syria and Lebanon to establish full diplomatic relations with each other, calling it a “landmark event” that will benefit both Middle East countries.

“This joint effort between two nations reinforces the sovereignty, stability and political independence of the Lebanese State in accordance with the Taif Accord and relevant Security Council resolutions,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General hopes that this landmark event will encourage Syria and Lebanon to engage in further constructive dialogue that will bring mutual benefits to both countries and help ensure stability and progress in their bilateral relations.”

Michael Williams, the newly appointed UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, also welcomed the diplomatic moves in a statement he issued after meeting with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman in Beirut today.

“I think this is a very important moment for bilateral relations… but it is also a very important moment regionally,” he said.

Mr. Williams said he had held productive talks with Mr. Suleiman, focusing on national dialogue and reconciliation within Lebanon, and the efforts of the country to engage more regionally and with the wider world.

The UN envoy also held talks yesterday with Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh about the establishment of diplomatic relations with Syria.

In his statement Mr. Williams also stressed that one of his priorities in the post will be to advance the implementation of the Security Council resolution from 2006 that ended that year’s war between Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the armed group Hizbollah.

ENDS

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