UN wants Syria pullout timetable

The United Nations expects President Bashar al-Asad to produce a timetable for the full withdrawal of Syrian troops and intelligence officers from Lebanon, UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said.

    Roed-Larsen was in Jordan for talks on Resolution 1559

    Speaking in Amman on Friday, where he sought Jordanian support for UN Security Council Resolution 1559 on Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon, Roed-Larsen indicated he was optimistic about his meeting with Syrian president al-Asad in Damascus on Saturday.

    "I expect that we will get the commitment and timetables for the full implementation of 1559," Roed-Larsen said after two hours of talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Hani al-Mulqi.

    When asked whether that meant the complete withdrawal of Syria's 14,000 troops in Lebanon as well as its intelligence officers, Roed-Larsen responded: "I said 'full' and 'timetables'."

    "Jordan and the United Nations see eye-to-eye on all issues," Roed-Larsen said of his talks with al-Mulqi, referring to the resolution on Syrian withdrawal.

    Damascus visit

    On Thursday, Roed-Larsen met Egyptian President Husni Mubarak in Sharm al-Shaikh for similar talks.

    The UN special envoy referred to recent calls by Spain and Germany for Syria to leave Lebanon, indicating wide international support for the resolution that the United States and France steered through the Security Council last September.

    Roed-Larsen will meet al-Asad
    on Saturday

    Roed-Larsen was scheduled to arrive in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday evening to pay his condolences to the family of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, whose assassination on 14 February has intensified the pressure on Syria to leave.

    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abd Allah told al-Asad in Riyadh earlier this month to withdraw Syria's forces from Lebanon quickly or face the consequences.

    The UN Security Council is due to consider the implementation of the resolution next month. It could impose sanctions on Syria if it deems the country to have flouted the resolution. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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