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Lebanon's Pro-Syrian President Vows to Finish Term


Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud has vowed to finish his term in office, despite a renewed push by anti-Syrian Lebanese to force his resignation.

Mr. Lahoud's pledge came Wednesday, one day after hundreds of thousands of anti-Syrian, anti-Lahoud protesters packed Beirut. They were marking the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Flag-waving demonstrators - who blame Damascus for Mr. Hariri's death - shouted anti-Syrian slogans and called for Mr. Lahoud's immediate resignation. Damascus has denied any involvement in the Hariri killing.

In a statement, Mr. Lahoud called Tuesday's demonstrations "incitement" from the anti-Syrian camp, and said the protests were damaging Beirut's ties with other Arab states.

Mr. Lahoud was elected to a six-year term in 1998. In 2004, Lebanon's pro-Syrian parliament extended the term for three more years, despite protests from Mr. Hariri.

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

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