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Syria Denies Arms Crossing Border into Lebanon | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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DAMASCUS (AFP) -Syria denied on Tuesday allegations that arms are making their way over the border into Lebanon and warned against any moves to station international troops along the frontier in Lebanon.

“All the rumours about arms crossing the borders … are wrong,” Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in a press conference with visiting Belgian counterpart, Karel De Gucht.

In the past few weeks, security forces have seized weapons caches in various parts of Lebanon where the anti-Syrian majority in parliament regularly accuses Damascus of supplying weapons to Hezbollah.

It was the Shiite movement’s capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid last July that sparked a devastating 34-day war with the Jewish state.

Hezbollah was the only armed group that was not asked to surrender its weapons after the Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war because it was considered a resistance group then fighting Israel’s occupation of Lebanese territory.

Several UN Security Council resolutions, including the one that brought about a ceasefire in last summer’s conflict, have called for the disarming of all militias in Lebanon.

Asked about the possibility of stationing international troops on the border with Syria, Muallem repeated a threat he made several months ago, in which he said “Syria would close its border with Lebanon” in such a case.

“Why would you want to establish an international control on the border between Syria and Lebanon,” he asked during the press conference. “That is a sign that the West wants a state of war between the two.”