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Lebanese PM heads to Syria
2010-05-31 12:14:51

Hariri's visit, third since December, comes just days after his return from United States.

The Nation Press -

BEIRUT - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was headed to Damascus on Monday for talks with Syrian leaders, a government official said.

"The prime minister is heading to Damascus today but we cannot elaborate any further," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Hariri's visit, his third since December, comes just days after his return from the United States where he held talks on mounting tensions over Israeli accusations Damascus was smuggling weapons to Hezbollah.

The premier also visited Damascus just before his trip to Washington.

The two countries established diplomatic ties for the first time in 2008, with Syria opening an embassy in Beirut, while Lebanon opened its mission in Damascus in March 2009.

Israel waged a bloody 34-day war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, which claimed the lives of more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, most of them civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

Israeli flights over Lebanon occur on an almost daily basis and are in breach of UN Security Council resolution 1710, which in August 2006 ended the war.

Hezbollah, originally a resistance group formed to counter an Israeli occupation of south Lebanon, had forced the Israeli military out of Lebanon in 2000 after a 22-year presence. Israel, however, continues to occupy the Lebanese Shabaa Farms.


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