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Syrian Government informs UN of troop pullout

26 April 2005 The Syrian Government has informed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan by letter that it has withdrawn its troops from Lebanon, a UN spokesman said today.

A three-person UN team to verify the pullout was travelling to the Syrian capital of Damascus and was expected to arrive today, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in response to questions at the daily news briefing in New York.

From Syria, the team will then head to Beirut, where it will conduct its verification activities before reporting back to the Secretary-General, he added.

Under an agreement worked out earlier this month by Terje Roed-Larsen, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for implementing resolution 1559, Syria agreed to withdraw all its forces, military assets and intelligence apparatus from its smaller neighbour by 30 April, ending a physical presence than began with the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war.

Meanwhile, Mr. Annan’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559 – which called for withdrawing all foreign forces from Lebanon, disbanding all militias, extending Government control over the whole country and holding free elections – was sent to the Security Council. The findings of the verification team will be presented as a supplement to the report.


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