A United Nations envoy says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to a timetable for a complete withdrawal of his country's troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon.
Terje Roed-Larsen, who met with Mr. Assad on Saturday in the northern city of Aleppo, said he secured Syria's pledge to fulfill its obligations under U.N. Resolution 1559, which calls for all foreign forces to leave Lebanon.
He said it would be a two stage withdrawal, with all of Syria's 14-thousand troops and numerous intelligence agents relocating to Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley by the end of March. The second phase would see a full withdrawal to the Syrian side of the border.
Mr. Roed-Larsen did not announce a timetable for the second stage, but said he would give those details to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan next week.
Some troops have already returned to Syria from positions in northern Lebanon.