LEBANON - June 18 - Critics Unconvinced By Syrian Move.
(The Syrian troop presence dates to 1976, the first year of Lebanon's civil war. The 1991 Treaty of Brotherhood between the two states noted the "intertwining of the two countries' security" and established bodies for co-ordination in military, economic and political spheres. The Syrian presence in Beirut was gradually reduced in the late 1990s, but Damascus has maintained about 35,000 troops in Lebanon - concentrated in Muslim areas and Palestinian camps in the centre and north of the country. The redeployment over the past days has been from Beirut and mainly Christian areas in Mount Lebanon. Critics of the Syrian presence argue that the troop redeployment will not change Syria's role as the power-broker in Lebanese politics. As Syrian troops left their positions in Beirut and surrounding areas over the past days they broke well established practice and encouraged photographs. Al Assad broke his silence on the redeployment, strengthening the impression that it was intended as a concession to critics of Syria's military presence, who have become more vocal in recent months. The Beirut LBCI television station quoted him as saying: "There is a civil society in Lebanon with particular characteristics. Syria has to organise its relations with Lebanon in this light". But the critics remained circumspect).
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||military cutback|
|Publication:||APS Diplomat Recorder|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jun 23, 2001|
|Previous Article:||ISRAEL - June 20 - Protesters Arrested.|
|Next Article:||RUSSIA - June 17 - Putin Opposes Change To Balkan Borders.|