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Arab League Head: Syria Plans Lebanon Troop Withdrawal

The head of the Arab League says Syria will "soon" take steps toward withdrawing its troops from Lebanon.

Arab League chief Amr Mussa made his statement Monday after meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

Mr. Mussa said the Syrian leader stressed "more than once" his intention to implement the 1989 Taif agreement and withdraw the 14,000 troops.

The Taif agreement, which ended Lebanon's civil war, committed Syria to move its troops to Lebanon's Bekaa Valley ahead of later talks on a complete pullout.

Mr. Mussa spoke as thousands of protesters rallied in Beirut to demand the troops' departure and the resignation of Lebanon's pro-Syrian government.

The demonstration came a week after the car bomb attack that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and at least 14 others.

Lebanon's opposition politicians blame Syria for the killing. Syria insists it was not involved.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.