21 February 2018

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10/14/2008 SYRIA - LEBANON

Assad's decree on diplomatic relations with Beirut

The two countries have never had normal diplomatic relations, because of the "special bond" that Damascus says it has with Beirut. The decision to establish them was made in August by the presidents of Syria and Lebanon.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - A decree has been issued today by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for the establishment of diplomatic relations with Lebanon. The decree, released by the official news agency SANA, clarifies that the Syrian diplomatic mission will be at the level of the embassy.

In Beirut, an official at the foreign ministry said today that minister Fawzi Salloukh expects to go to Damascus on Wednesday to discuss the details of establishing diplomatic relations.

Over the 60 years of their existence in their current form, Lebanon and Syria have never had formal diplomatic relations, because Damascus has always considered Beirut a territory with which it had "special bonds," in that it was created by the French in 1943 with four provinces taken from the Syrians. In addition to the fact that Syria controlled the country militarily and politically for almost 30 years, until 2005.

The normalization of relations and the recognition of full Lebanese sovereignty have also been requested at the international level. A step in this direction was decided and announced in August, after a meeting in Paris (in the photo) between Assad and Lebanese president Michel Suleiman.

See also

12/07/2008 LEBANON - SYRIA
Bashar al-Assad and Michel Sleiman meet in Paris
A first sign of thaw after years of tension following the assassination of Rafik Hariri. For Assad, it is "an historic visit", a chance to return to the international community. But clearer signs are still awaited: diplomatic relations with Lebanon, and withdrawal of support for Hezbollah and for armed Palestinian groups.

03/04/2007 LEBANON
Merkel and Pelosi see Damascus as key to a solution in Lebanon’s crisis
German chancellor calls on Syria to stop weapons smuggling across its border with Lebanon, normalise relations with Beirut and stop opposing the establishment of an international tribunal into the Hariri assassination. US House Speaker Pelosi stresses the importance of dialogue, arrives in Damascus this afternoon.

14/08/2008 LEBANON - SYRIA
Summit between Beirut and Damascus has not eliminated all doubts
The announcement of the establishment of normal diplomatic relations is positive, but questions remain over Assad's true stance. It's still an open case, from the definition of borders to the assassination of Rafic Hariri.

22/07/2008 SYRIA – LEBANON
Michel Suleiman invited to Damascus
This visit would be the first by a Lebanese president in three years. It would come as Beirut and Damascus prepare to establish diplomatic relations. More time is needed to settle the issue of Lebanese missing in Syrian captivity.

UN commission's request for an interview with Assad a bombshell
The request stems from the inquiry into the Hariri assassination and follows statements made by former Syrian Vice President Khaddam according to whom Syrian intelligence services could not have carried out any operation without Syrian President Assad being informed. Lebanese President Lahoud is also involved.

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