Syrian-Lebanese communique

Following are excerpts from a translation by Reuters of the joint communique delivered after a meeting on Monday between the Syrian and Lebanese presidents in Damascus that tackled Syrian troop redeployment and withdrawal.

    President Bashar al-Asad signs an agreement on withdrawal

    "The two sides (of the Supreme Syrian-Lebanese Council) emphasised that the meeting came amid the difficult circumstances and challenges the two countries are facing, to affirm their determination to enhance the course of mutual cooperation and coordination and to continue the implementation of their pact and the agreements signed under its framework transparently and precisely and in a manner that achieves the joint interest of the two countries.

     

    "The two sides affirmed their countries' commitment to the Taif Accord and its mechanism and to the Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination and the agreements that were derived from it.

     

    "They also reiterated their commitment to the joint strategic fixed principles in the face of current and future challenges and in seeking to achieve just and comprehensive peace based on relevant United Nations resolutions, the references of the Madrid (1991 Peace Conference), the principle of land for peace and their respect for all resolutions issued by international legitimacy including Resolution 1559.

     

    "They also stressed the necessity of implementing all of these resolutions away from selectiveness and double standards. Then the parties in the meeting moved on to discuss the agenda as proposed by the secretary-general of the Supreme Syrian-Lebanese Council as per the report presented by him and upon discussion, the following was agreed:

     

    "Firstly, based on the stipulations of the Taif Accord and the fourth article of the Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination signed on May 22, 1991, between the two countries and based on commitment to the United Nations Pact and respect for international legitimacy resolutions, the council decided the following:

     

    "A - Withdrawing Syrian Arab troops positioned in Lebanon to the Bekaa region and the entrance of the western Bekaa at Dahr al-Baidar until the Hammana/al-Mdairej/Ain Dara line before the end of March 2005.

     

    "B - The joint military commission is charged with putting together an agreement within one month after the date of the pullback of Syrian forces to the Bekaa in line with article A, upon which determining the size and the length of stay for the remaining forces in the aforementioned areas and determining the nature of the relationship of these forces with the authorities of the Lebanese state.

     

    "C - With the end of the duration agreed for the presence of the Syrian troops under article B the two governments - Syrian and Lebanese - will agree on completing the withdrawal of the remainder of the Syrian Arab forces."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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