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February 15, 2005

United States recalls ambassador to Syria

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has ordered US Ambassador Margaret Scobey home from Syria amid rising tensions over the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut, a US official said Tuesday.

Before departing, Scobey delivered a stiff note, called a demarche in diplomatic parlance, to the Syrian government, said the official.

Harirri

(Portrait of Hariri hangs from a balcony in Beirut
Photo: AP)

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, announcing the move, said it reflected the Bush administration's "profound outrage" over Hariri's assassination.

Boucher did not accuse Syria of being involved in the bombing Monday in Beirut. "I have been careful to say we do not know who committed the murder at this time," he said.

But he said the deadly attack illustrated that Syria's strong military and political presence in Lebanon was a problem and had not provided security in the neighboring country.

"It reminds us even more starkly that the Syrian presence in Lebanon is not good," Boucher said. "It has not brought anything to the Lebanese people."

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Posted by Hyscience at February 15, 2005 6:21 PM



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