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ali abdul Karim ali  3Damascus stands by its partners in Beirut as they struggle to control the lingering threat from Israel, the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon said in Beirut.

Bilateral relations between Lebanon and Syria are on the mend following years of tensions reaching back to the Lebanese 1975-90 civil war. The sides exchanged ambassadors in 2009.

Ali Abdel Karim Ali, the Syrian envoy to Damascus, told Lebanese President Michel Suleiman that Damascus supported Lebanon in its efforts to deter Israeli threats, Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper reports.

“This support is also in the interest of Lebanon’s unity and sovereignty,” he added.

The United Nations called on Israel and Lebanon to do more to back a 2006 cease-fire agreement between Hezbollah and Israel. Israel is in breach of the agreement because of repeated military flights over Lebanese airspace. Lebanon, for its part, hasn’t done enough to control Hezbollah’s weapons, the United Nations said.

The Syrian envoy said Damascus was reviewing measures to build up is “army and economic strength to face any future challenges,” the Daily Star added. UPI

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