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Syria Pledges Full, Complete Lebanon Withdrawal This Month


A top United Nations envoy says Syria has promised to remove all its troops and agents from Lebanon by the end of the month.

U.N. special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen announced Syria's commitment, after meeting Sunday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He also said a U.N. team will verify the pullout, if Beirut accepts the offer.

Syria has faced intense pressure to pull out of Lebanon, since the February 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Opposition leaders have accused Beirut and its Syrian sponsors of complicity in the bombing that killed the billionaire tycoon - a charge both governments deny.

The Syrian pullout began last month, after days of massive anti-Syrian protests in Beirut. All Syrian forces have left western Lebanon. However, some remain deployed on the Lebanese border, awaiting further orders.

Some information provided for this report by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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