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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Timeline Aug 14 + 2nd Day Summitt with Syria
Timeline Aug 14 + 2nd Day Summitt with Syria PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet, LBCi   
Thursday, 14 August 2008

This handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency on August 13 shows Lebanese President Michel Sleiman (left) meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Syria and Lebanon were discussing the thorny issues of border demarcation and the fate of missing persons on the final day of a landmark visit to Damascus by Sleiman, an official said. (AFP/HO)
This handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency on August 13 shows Lebanese President Michel Sleiman (left) meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Syria and Lebanon were discussing the thorny issues of border demarcation and the fate of missing persons on the final day of a landmark visit to Damascus by Sleiman, an official said. (AFP/HO)

Lebanon to Move Against Terrorists as Nation Observes Day of Mourning for Tripoli Blast Victims

Lebanon's Higher Defense Council is expected to meet later Thursday to take actions against terrorist attacks as the nation observes a day of mourning after a massive bombing in the northern city of Tripoli killed 14 people.

Prime Minister Fouad Saniora has declared Thursday a day of mourning across the country in honor of those killed in the Tripoli tragedy which also wounded at least 40 others.

The daily An Nahar said President Michel Suleiman will preside over the Higher Defense Council meeting upon arrival from Damascus later Thursday, ending a two-day official visit during which Syria and Lebanon agreed to establish diplomatic ties and exchange ambassadors for the first time since independence about 60 years ago.

As Safir newspaper said, however, the meeting would take place at 7 pm Thursday.

According to information obtained by An Nahar, the Higher Defense Council is "bent on undertaking measures to confront this terrorist threat in an effort to beef up security and confront a possible scheme to shake security." 
 
Beirut, 14 Aug 08, 08:11
 
http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&8FEDD5373D30C850C22574A5001CE305

 

BBC Lebanon and Syria Reach New Level of Diplomacy - August 13, 2008

 

Damascus - LBCi report - Hoda Chedid - 13/08/2008

 

Washington Welcomes Syrian-Lebanese Ties But Cautions Damascus

The United States responded cautiously to an agreement Wednesday between Syria and Lebanon to launch full diplomatic relations and pushed for Damascus to stay out of Lebanese affairs.

"We have long stood for the normalization of relations between Syria and Lebanon on the basis of equality and respect for Lebanese sovereignty," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.

"One of the steps that has long been required is the establishment of a proper embassy for Syria in Lebanon and vice versa," she said.

"Now, if the Syrians will go ahead and demarcate the border between Lebanon and Syria, and respect (Lebanon's) sovereignty in other ways, then this will have proved to be a very good step," she said.

Rice spoke after Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad agreed to start diplomatic ties for the first time since they gained independence from France in the 1940s.

The United States also condemned a bus bombing in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a statement that the morning rush hour blast "underscores the importance of bringing all arms in Lebanon under the control of the institutions of the state."

He said the United States strongly supports the Lebanese army as the "legitimate protector of Lebanon's security."(AFP-AP-Naharnet)
 
Beirut, 14 Aug 08, 08:00

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&8FEDD5373D30C850C22574A5001CE305

Live Coverage - August 14, 2008
                                  Live Coverage7:41 Meeting between President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora begins at Baabda Palace. 
 7:22 Voice of Lebanon radio station: Snipers are targeting the Tripoli Akkar highway and some cars are being hit
 7:15pm VOL: Premier Saniora says any Syrian official is welcome to Lebanon.
 7:00pm Suleiman presides over a meeting for the Highest Defense Council at the Baabda Palace.
 6:00pm Tensions run high at Bab el-Tebaneh region in Tripoli after Ahmed Shaykouni was wounded by a sniper's bullet.
 3:55pm Al-Mustaqbal Movement Leader Saad Hariri said establishing diplomatic ties with Syria is an historic step.
3:50pm President Michel Suleiman and the accompanying delegation arrived at Beirut international airport.
1:30pm President Michel Suleiman issued a decree calling for an extraordinary parliamentary session from Aug. 19 till Oct. 20
12:43pm Muallem: Demarcation of Shebaa Farms is not possible in light of the Israeli occupation.
12:42pm Salloukh: The summit has re-normalized relations between Lebanon and Syria
12:40pm Khoury: The two leaders agreed to revive joint committee meetings and pursue the issue of the missing and the detainees.
12:38pm Khoury: The two leaders agreed to reject the naturalization of Palestinians.
12:37pm Khoury: The two countries agreed to reactivate trade.
12:35pm The two countries agreed to revive the joint Lebanese-Syrian committee, said a statement read by Secretary General of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council Nasri Khoury at the end of the Suleiman-Assad summit.
12:35pm The two countries agreed to revive the joint Lebanese-Syrian committee, said a statement read at the end of the Suleiman-Assad talks.
12:30am A press conference between the foreign ministers of Lebanon and Syria begins.
12:13pm Masri: We will remain loyal to the blood of martyrs.
12:12pm Acting Army Commander Maj. Gen. Shawki Masri: The Tripoli crime was a desperate attempt to create instability.
12:01pm The Lebanese army begins its commemoration ceremony in honor of soldiers killed in Wednesday’s Tripoli bombing.
12:00pm Lebanon began observing a one-hour mourning period in honor of the Tripoli victims.
11:58am Voice of Lebanon: An explosives expert defused the Ain el-Hilweh bomb which weighed 6 kilograms
11:52am Future News TV: A bomb was found near a Fatah office at the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh.
10:30am Justice Minister said that surveillance cameras caught images of the man who was carrying a briefcase believed used in the Tripoli blast went off.
10:20am Second round of Lebanon-Syria talks resumed in Damascus.
 

Suleiman, Assad Establish Diplomatic Ties 60 Years After Independence

Syria and Lebanon have agreed to start diplomatic ties and exchange ambassadors for the first time since independence about 60 years ago, a Syrian presidential adviser said Wednesday.

The decision was taken during a meeting in Damascus between visiting President Michel Suleiman and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad, presidential counselor for politics Bussaina Shaaban said in a statement.

"The two presidents decided to establish diplomatic relations at the level of ambassadors, in line with the treaty of the United Nations and international law," the statement said.

Presidents Suleiman and Assad "instructed their foreign ministries to take the necessary measures in this regard to conform with the laws of the two countries," the statement added.

Lebanon and Syria have not had diplomatic ties since independence from French colonial power about 60 years ago but Assad and Suleiman agreed to establish relations during talks last month in Paris.

Wednesday's confirmation of the decision marks the first fruits of a landmark trip to Damascus by Suleiman, the first Lebanese president to visit Damascus since Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon in April 2005 ending almost three decades of military domination of its "sister" nation.

The Syrian pullout came two months after the assassination in a massive Beirut bomb blast of Lebanese ex-Premier Rafik Hariri, for which Damascus has denied any responsibility despite accusations by some Lebanese groups.

Suleiman, a former army chief elected by parliament in May, was given a red-carpet welcome by Assad at the People's Palace overlooking Damascus on his arrival.

"(Assad) has instructed all concerned Syrian officials that he wants this visit to be successful and fruitful," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in comments published in Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper.

"The visit is a starting point... for future relations. We hope it will yield good relations in the interests" of the Lebanese and Syrian people.

The agenda of Suleiman's visit features prickly issues such as a border demarcation, a review of longstanding accords, Lebanese detainees in Syria and the presence of radical pro-Syrian Palestinian groups in Lebanon, as well as the opening of embassies.

"Syria wants a stable, united and Arab Lebanon which does not serve as a trampoline for hostile activities," Elias Murad, editor-in-chief of the ruling Baath party newspaper, told AFP.(AFP)

Beirut, 13 Aug 08, 21:55

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&8FEDD5373D30C850C22574A5001CE305 

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Suleiman-Assad Summit to Redefine Ties after 3 Decades of Syrian Dominance

President Michel Suleiman heads Wednesday for a groundbreaking visit to Syria aimed at redefining ties between Beirut and Damascus, which dominated Lebanon for three decades until it withdrew its forces in 2005.

The two-day visit is the first by a Lebanese head of state since a 2005 Syrian troop pullout from Lebanon in the aftermath of the murder of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri.

Suleiman is carrying with him an agenda loaded with thorny issues, including the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Among the prickly issues in the agenda are a border demarcation, a review of longstanding accords, Lebanese detainees in Syria and the presence of radical pro-Syrian Palestinian groups in Lebanon, diplomatic sources said.

According to a Lebanese official in Beirut, the establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of embassies will top the agenda.

Assad and Suleiman, whose states have not had diplomatic relations since independence more than 60 years ago, agreed to finally set up ties at a meeting last month in France, their former colonial power.

Beirut-Damascus links have been on the decline since Hariri's murder in a February 2005 Beirut bomb blast in which Syria has consistently denied charges of involvement.

But the Doha accord struck in May between the pro- and anti-Syrian camps in Lebanon after an 18-month political crisis which degenerated into deadly factional violence cleared the way for Suleiman's election as president.

Prime Minister Fouad Saniora has since formed a new government of national unity, a development which would have been impossible without the consent of Damascus.

"Syria wants a stable, united and Arab Lebanon which does not serve as a trampoline for hostile activities," Elias Murad, editor-in-chief of the Syrian ruling Baath party's newspaper, told AFP.

Officials in Damascus insist Syria has not interfered in Lebanese affairs since its troop withdrawal and has worked to reunify ranks in Beirut, pointing to the Doha power-sharing accord.

But the Beirut daily An-Nahar, reflecting the suspicions of the Western-backed and anti-Syrian parliamentary majority in Beirut, voiced doubts over how Damascus will "manage the relations."

The official in Beirut said ahead of the visit that the fate of a Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council and a 1991 friendship and cooperation treaty would also figure high on the agenda.

The parliamentary majority wants both the treaty and council to be scrapped.

But the council's secretary general, Nasri Khouri, said embassies did not spell the end of the coordination body. "There will be coordination between the two countries' embassies and the council," he told AFP.

The fate of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, where Beirut claims sovereignty with the consent of Damascus, is also expected to be discussed.(Naharnet-AFP)

Beirut, 13 Aug 08, 08:19

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/

Lebanon/90181278F5B0685CC22574A4001D8D88?OpenDocument

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Lebanon-Syria Timeline

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman begins on Wednesday a two-day groundbreaking visit to Syria, as the two neighbors seek to establish diplomatic ties.

Key events in relations between the two countries since the 1970s:


- 1975: Start of Lebanese civil war.


- 1976: Syrian troops enter Lebanon at the request of Christian groups. As the conflict evolves they come into conflict with rightist Christians and side with mostly Muslim and Palestinian leftist forces.


- 1982: Israeli forces invade Lebanon for the second time during the war, sweeping into Beirut and forcing the Syrians to pull back to the east of the country.


- 1987: With the war still raging, Syrian soldiers are again deployed in west Beirut.


- 1988: Lebanon finds itself with two rival governments, a mainly Muslim one in west Beirut and a Christian one, headed by Michel Aoun, in the east.


- 1989: Aoun declares a "war of liberation" against Syrian troops.

Lebanese inter-party talks in Taif, Saudi Arabia, produce an agreement that will later end the civil war. The deal calls for a Syrian pullback to the east of the country, but does not set a date for a full withdrawal.


- 1990: The civil war, which has killed over 150,000 people, ends.


- 1991: Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Syria agrees to join a U.S.-led force against Iraq. In exchange, the U.S. turns a blind eye to Syria's presence in Lebanon.

Lebanon and Syria sign a friendship treaty, but Syria still refuses to recognize Lebanon diplomatically.


- 1998: Emile Lahoud, a pro-Syrian general, is elected president of Lebanon.


- 2000-1: After the last Israeli forces leave southern Lebanon, the bulk of the Syrian troops in the country deploy to the Bekaa Valley, in the east.


- 2003: Rafik Hariri forms a new, pro-Syrian government in Lebanon.

Syria refuses to take part in a new invasion of Iraq led by the U.S.


- 2004: U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1559 calling for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon and respect for its sovereignty.

The Lebanese parliament gives Lahoud another three years in office. Hariri later resigns.


- February 2005: Hariri is assassinated. The anti-Syrian opposition accuses Syria of ordering the killing, which Syria denies.

In April, the last Syrian troops leave Lebanon.

In June, parliamentary elections give a majority to anti-Syrian parties.


- May 2006: The U.N. Security Council adopts a resolution calling on Syria to establish diplomatic ties with Lebanon. Syria refuses.

- August: As Lebanon is shattered by a devastating war between Israel and Hizbullah, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem visits Beirut.


- May 2008: Israel said it is involved in indirect peace talks with Syria.


- May 25: Army chief Michel Suleiman is elected Lebanon's 12th president after a deal between the Western-backed government and the opposition backed by Syria and Iran.


- June 5: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Syria will formally recognize Lebanon once a national unity government is formed there.


- July 12: The day after the unity government is announced, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announces that Lebanon and Syria are to establish diplomatic ties.


- July 21: Muallem makes a new visit to Lebanon.


- August 12: On the eve of Suleiman's visit to Syria, the Lebanese government wins a vote of confidence after stormy debates on the thorny issue of weapons held by Hizbullah.(AFP) 
 
 

Beirut, 13 Aug 08, 08:35

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/

Lebanon/2503A4062B8DB573C22574A4001E1DB8?OpenDocument

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Syrian Dailies Hail Suleiman Landmark Visit to Damascus

The official Syrian newspaper Tishrin hailed the Lebanon-Syria summit and expected "past mistakes to be overcome... by establishing diplomatic relations" which it said must be based on "respect, friendship and coordination."

Syria and Lebanon have not had diplomatic ties since independence from French colonial power 60 years ago but Assad and Suleiman agreed to establish them during talks last month in Paris.

The government paper Ath-Thawra said that "Syria will listen carefully to Michel Suleiman. There will be a dialogue capable of solving all pending issues."

Suleiman is the first Lebanese president to visit Damascus since Syria pulled out its troops from Lebanon in April 2005 ending almost three decades of military domination of its "sister" nation.

The pullout came two months after the assassination in Beirut of ex-premier Rafik Hariri, for which Damascus has denied any responsibility despite accusations by Lebanese anti-Syrian groups.

Suleiman's visit aims to redefine ties between Beirut and Damascus which have been on the decline since the Hariri murder.

It comes a day after Beirut's new national unity government won a much-delayed parliamentary vote of confidence following stormy debates among rival factions on the thorny issue of weapons held by Hizbullah, which is backed by Syria and Iran.

Opposing MPs locked horns in sharp exchanges over the arsenal of Hizbullah, which insists it has the right to resist Israel.

The vote will allow the 30-member cabinet formed a month ago by Prime Minister Fouad Saniora to finally start work.

The agenda in Damascus features prickly issues such as a border demarcation, a review of longstanding accords, Lebanese detainees in Syria and the presence of radical pro-Syrian Palestinian groups in Lebanon, diplomatic sources said.(AFP-Naharnet)

Beirut, 13 Aug 08, 12:25

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/

Lebanon/FF19698177573351C22574A4003339E0?OpenDocument

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 August 2008 )
 
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