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US, France Circulates Draft UN Resolution on Syria
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The United States and France on Wednesday circulated among UN officials a draft UN resolution on improving the Syrian-Lebanese ties.

The draft resolution, co-sponsored by Britain, urged Syria to formally establish diplomatic relations with Lebanon and demarcate their common border.

The draft resolution also urged Syria to take measures to prevent future movements of arms into Lebanon in line with previous UN resolutions.

The draft appealed to "all concerned states and parties" to cooperate fully with the Lebanese government and the UN to this end.

It also welcomed the decision by all Lebanese parties "to disarm Palestinian militias outside refugee camps within six months."

The draft was discussed Tuesday by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her French counterpart Philippe Douste-Blazy during their meeting on the sidelines of the UN talks on Iran.

Rice said that the US and France were cooperating closely "on the common goal of a democratic Lebanon."

In line with UN Security Council Resolution 1559 passed in the previous year, Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon in 2005 after 29 years of military and political domination of the small country.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad said on Tuesday that his country was opposed to western countries' interference with its internal affairs.

(Chinadaily.com via agencies May 11, 2006)

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