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Syria's Final Lebanon Withdrawal Starts Thursday


Lebanese and Syrian military commanders say the final stage of Syria's military withdrawal from Lebanon will begin on Thursday and be completed by April 30.

News of the timetable came Monday, as more Syrian troops dismantled posts while U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen held talks in the region. The envoy says the United Nations will verify the withdrawal. Mr. Roed-Larsen met Monday in Beirut with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and stressed the need for the country's May parliamentary elections to be free and fair. They also discussed disarming militias in Lebanon, including Hezbollah. But no progress was reported on that issue.

In Washington, President Bush welcomed the timetable and stressed that all Syrian intelligence agents must leave the country as well.

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