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Syria: Troops Out of Lebanon by May Election - 2005-03-30


Syria has promised the United Nations that it will withdraw all its troops from Lebanon before that country's parliamentary elections scheduled for May.

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara made the pledge in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Tuesday.

A joint Syrian-Lebanese commission is set to meet in the coming days to set an exact timetable.

Meanwhile, Lebanon's prime minister-designate, Omar Karami, says he is resigning after failing to persuade the anti-Syrian opposition to join a national unity government.

It remains unclear if his decision will delay the country's parliamentary elections.

Mr. Karami was re-appointed to lead a new government after resigning in February following anti-Syrian protests. The protests erupted following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

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