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A Resolution On Syria

The United Nations Security Council is placing the burden on Syria to cooperate with Lebanon. Resolution sixteen-eighty says Syria should "respond positively to the request made by the government of Lebanon, in line with the agreements of the Lebanese national dialogue, to delineate their common border. . .and to establish full diplomatic relations and representations." Thirteen members of the Security Council voted to approve the resolution, with China and Russia abstaining.

John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the U-N, says the passage of the resolution is "a clear message by the Security Council to Syria that we expect them to respond to the offers the government of Lebanon has very responsibly made":

"It clearly says to Syria that it needs to do more to stop the flow of weapons across the Syrian-Lebanese border, and it makes clear that the further disarming of all militias inside Lebanon is an important priority."

The resolution does not mention Iran by name but calls "on all concerned states and parties" to cooperate with Lebanon. Ambassador Bolton says he is satisfied with the wording:

"There is no ambiguity what that phrase means. It could have named Iran in its full four letters, but that reference makes it unambiguously clear that Iran is referred to."

Syria's two-decade occupation of Lebanon ended in April 2005 after international pressure and massive Lebanese protests following the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and twenty-two others in a car bombing. A U-N inquiry found that the Syrian government was likely involved in the assassination. Mr. Hariri was an opponent of the Syrian occupation.

In the words of President George W. Bush, the U.S., the U.N., and the Lebanese people share a "mutual desire for Lebanon to be free; free. . .to chart its own course."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.