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US Envoy in Lebanon to Push Syria on Troop Withdrawal


A senior U.S. diplomat visiting Lebanon is warning that those promoting violence and political instability in the country will be held directly accountable.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield spoke Thursday in Beirut, at the start of a mission aimed at gaining a Syrian timetable for pulling its troops from Lebanon. The U.S. envoy also criticized Iran and Syria for their alleged attempts to destabilize the country.

The U.S. visit is part of a concerted push by Washington, the United Nations and the European Union to force Syria to provide a timetable for the full withdrawal of all its forces from Lebanon.

Damascus has pulled 4,000 troops since mass anti-Syrian protests erupted after last month's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Syria says planning is under way to withdraw its remaining 10,000 troops in the near future.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

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