Cedar Revolution - Syrian Reaction

Syrian Reaction

On March 2, 2005, Syrian leader Bashar Assad announced that his troops would leave Lebanon completely "in the next few months". Responding to the announcement, opposition leader Walid Jumblatt said that he wanted to hear more specifics from Damascus about any withdrawal: "It's a nice gesture but 'next few months' is quite vague - we need a clear-cut timetable".

On March 3, Germany and Russia (Syria's Cold War ally) joined those calling for Syria to comply with Resolution 1559. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said: "Lebanon should be given an opportunity for sovereignty and development and this can only be achieved by complying with Security Council resolutions that stipulate immediate Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon."

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated that "Syria should withdraw from Lebanon, but we all have to make sure that this withdrawal does not violate the very fragile balance which we still have in Lebanon, which is a very difficult country ethnically."

On March 5 Syrian leader Assad declared in a televised speech that Syria would withdraw its forces to the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, and then to the border between Syria and Lebanon. He did not provide a timetable for a complete withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.

On the weekend of April 9 and 10th, on the anniversary of the ignition of the Lebanese Civil war, the last remaining Syrian troops left Lebanon, ending their 30 year presence.

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