DAMASCUS, Syria, (AP) – The foreign ministers of Syria and Lebanon have signed an agreement formalizing diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The signing comes a day after the Syrian president issued a decree establishing diplomatic relations for the first time with its smaller neighbor. The U.S. and Lebanese politicians opposed to Syria’s influence in the country have long demanded Syria recognize Lebanon’s sovereignty.
The two countries have not had formal diplomatic relations since both gained independence from France in the 1940s.
The document announcing the start of diplomatic relations was signed in Damascus on Wednesday by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and his Lebanese counterpart Fawzi Salloukh.