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Syrian President Announces Lebanon Redeployment


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has announced that his troops in Lebanon will gradually redeploy to the country's eastern Bekaa valley, and then to the Syrian border.

In a rare hour-long address to the Syrian parliament Saturday evening, Mr. Assad said the redeployment would fulfill Syria's commitment under the 1989 Taif accord and United Nations Resolution 1559. But some Lebanese opposition members criticized Mr. Assad, saying his proposal does not meet U.N. demands for a departure of Syria's 14-thousand troops.

After Mr. Assad's speech, Syrian minister Buthaina Shaaban told CNN television that parliament understood that Syrian troops would be pulled back within Syrian borders.

Meanwhile, in Beirut, hundreds of protesters kept up their campaign demanding a Syrian pullout.

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