Friday, September 01, 2006

Syria promises to stop weapon shipments

I wouldn't take their word on this, but if they follow through it would be a positive development.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday that Syria has pledged to step up border patrols and work with the Lebanese army to stop the flow of weapons to Hezbollah.

Annan also said that he had asked Syrian President Bashar Assad to use his nation's influence to help win the release of three Israeli soldiers held by Lebanese and Palestinian militants allied with Damascus.

According to Annan, Assad said at a meeting in Damascus that Syria will boost the number of its guards along the Lebanon-Syria border and establish joint patrols with the Lebanese army "where possible."

The impetus for this agreement was Israel's insistence that the UN patrol the border with Syria in order to stop weapons from crossing -- something Syria saw as insulting.

Whether this is just words to stave off a UN presence, or a serious commitment by Syria, only time will tell.

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