Syria's foreign minister says his country will have all its troops out of Lebanon before Lebanese parliamentary elections scheduled for May.
Farouq al-Shara made the pledge in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. A joint Syrian-Lebanese commission is set to meet in the coming days to set an exact timetable. Also Tuesday, Lebanon's prime minister-designate, Omar Karami, said 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 Lebanon's parliamentary elections.
State Department spokesman Adam Ereli stressed that the United States sees no reason to put off the parliamentary elections. Mr. Karami first resigned in February after anti-Syrian protests erupted following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. But he was reappointed less than two weeks later.