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US, France Seek New UN Resolution on Syria - 2004-10-14

U.S. and French ambassadors to the United Nations are circulating a new draft Security Council resolution pressing Syria to withdraw its troops from neighboring Lebanon.

The draft asks Secretary-General Kofi Annan to report four times a year on Syrian compliance, as a follow-up to a resolution passed in September calling for the withdrawal of all of Syria's estimated 17,000 troops in Lebanon. Syria responded with a limited withdrawal of 3,000 soldiers.

Syria has retained political control of Lebanon since 1976, when it was asked by Beirut to intervene in the Lebanese civil war.

The September 2 resolution, introduced by the United States, Britain and France, tried but failed to prevent Lebanon's parliament from extending by three years the term of Syrian-backed President Emile Lahoud.