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Syria Upbeat on Lebanon Agreement | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria supports a deal brokered by a Qatari-led Arab delegation that ended fighting in Lebanon and sees a “real opportunity” for the country, Syria’s foreign minister was quoted as saying on Friday.

Walid al-Moualem told the Lebanese as-Safir newspaper he had called the prime minister of Qatar and the secretary-general of the Arab League to congratulate them on the deal concluded on Thursday.

“We are absolutely with the initiative and we see it as a real opportunity,” Moualem said. “This step could be a real chance to save Lebanon from the dangers that threaten it.”

Syria supports the Hezbollah-led opposition, whose leaders are due to hold talks in Qatar on Friday aiming to end their protracted political standoff with the U.S.- and Saudi-backed governing coalition.

The political conflict turned violent last week when the government took decisions Hezbollah viewed as a declaration of war. The group, also backed by Iran, then routed supporters of the governing coalition in a military campaign.

The government rescinded the moves.

Syria dominated Lebanon until 2005, when the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri triggered international pressure that forced it to withdraw troops from its smaller neighbor.

The governing coalition accuse the Lebanese opposition of working to restore Syrian control.