From the Sydney Morning Herald: “The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, expects Syria to withdraw its 20,000 troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon before the country holds parliamentary elections in the northern spring, his spokesman said.

This is the first time the UN has set a deadline for the complete withdrawal of Syrian security forces, who have held sway over Lebanon for 29 years. It follows confidential discussions between Mr Annan’s top envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, and Lebanese and Syrian political leaders.”

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