March 04, 2005


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to announce a redeployment of Syrian troops in Lebanon when he addresses his parliament today, say Lebanese politicians.

Mr Assad's speech, which the Syrian press agency said would deal with "current political developments" follows unprecedented international pressure on Damascus to withdraw its 15,000 troops and its secret services from Lebanon.

After talks with Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, in Moscow yesterday, Walid al-Muallim, Syrian's deputy foreign minister, said Damascus would soon reveal what he called "an agreement between Syria and Lebanon" which he said would meet the approval of the United Nations Security Council.

Mr Lavrov said he was "satisfied" that Syria would take steps to "correspond" with UN resolution 1559, which calls for all foreign troops to leave Lebanon.

Still too soon to gloat, but this sounds quite promising. Meanwhile, here's an interesting overview of what's going on.