Clinton pushing Syria to end interference in Lebanon


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States is urging Syria to distance itself from Iran as well as to stop arming Hizbullah and interfering in Lebanon. It was the first time Clinton stated so bluntly that Washington wants to drive a wedge between Damascus and Tehran, which is the target of a U.S.-led drive for sanctions aimed at halting the Iranian nuclear program.

Speaking to senators, Clinton presented a set of demands that Washington is making to Syria now that a U.S. ambassador is returning to Damascus for the first time in five years under President Barack Obama’s policy of engagement.

“We’ve laid out for the Syrians the need for greater cooperation with respect to Iraq, the end to interference in Lebanon and the … provision of weapons to Hizbullah, a resumption of the Israeli-Syrian track…,” she said.

Clinton said Washington is also asking Syria to “generally to begin to move away from the relationship with Iran, which is so deeply troubling to the region as well as to the United States.” (Naharnet)