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Bush, Sarkozy Urge Diplomatic Ties Between Syria and Lebanon


U.S. President George Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have reaffirmed their joint support for a peaceful Lebanon, and say it is important for the country to have diplomatic ties with Syria.

The two leaders issued a joint statement following talks in Paris Saturday calling for Syria and Lebanon to work towards a relationship based on "respect, equality, security and sovereignty."

The French and American presidents have held different positions in regard to Syria. Mr. Bush has repeatedly accused Damascus of supporting terrorism and fomenting violence in Lebanon.

But, Mr. Sarkozy has shown signs of warming relations with Syria, pledging to resume diplomatic ties that were suspended last year. Mr. Sarkozy has also invited President Bashar al-Assad to attend France's "Bastille Day" celebrations on July 14, and plans to include Syria in a new Mediterranean Union.

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

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