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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Aug 12th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Syria, Lebanon Agree on Counter-Terror Cooperation
Syria, Lebanon Agree on Counter-Terror Cooperation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet, AFP   
Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Syria and Lebanon decided on Monday to boost border control and counter-terrorism coordination, as the two neighbors took a new step to strengthen ties since diplomatic relations were established. 


The decision came during the first visit to Damascus by a Lebanese interior minister since the 2005 assassination of Lebanon's five-time former premier Rafik Hariri.

Syrian Interior Minister Bassam Abdul Majid in talks with his visiting Lebanese counterpart Ziad Baroud agreed to set up a commission "to put into place the basis of coordination in the fight against terrorism and crime."

According to a statement read out to reporters after their meeting, the commission would also be tasked with establishing a joint mechanism to police the border.

Baroud was accompanied by Lebanese security chiefs Wafiq Jizzini and Ashraf Rifi.

The visit comes almost three months after Lebanese President Michel Suleiman made a landmark visit to Damascus and less than a month after Syria and Lebanon decided to establish diplomatic relations for the first time.

Cross-border smuggling was set to figure high on the agenda of Baroud's talks, after Syria deployed reinforcements along its border with Lebanon in what it terms an anti-smuggling operation.

Abdul Majid and Baroud discussed means to boost links between their ministries and the two countries' security services.

The two ministers also reviewed the "confessions" broadcast by Syrian state television last week by alleged Fatah al-Islam militants for a deadly September 27 car bombing in Damascus.

In the broadcast, the suspects said that Fatah al-Islam, a group which battled the Lebanese army last year, had links to the anti-Syrian bloc of Saad Hariri, the parliamentary majority leader in Beirut.

Baroud became the first Lebanese interior minister to visit Damascus since Syrian troops pulled out of Lebanon in April 2005 after a 29-year deployment, following charges of Syrian involvement in the Hariri murder.

Damascus has repeatedly denied the change. (AFP)
Beirut, 10 Nov 08, 18:02


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