Syrian authorities must respect Lebanon’s sovereignty, the US deputy secretary of state told reporters in Beirut on Friday, while expressing concern over a spillover of the bloodshed in Syria.

“We stress again the responsibility of the Syrian regime to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty,” William Burns told a news conference.

“The US also remains concerned that the Syrian regime’s use of violence against its own people is contributing to instability in Lebanon,” said Burns, in Beirut on a regional tour which has also taken him to Israel and the West Bank.

Referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Burns called for a “democratic transition to a post-Assad Syria, to a future that reflects the legitimate aspirations of the brave and determined Syrian people.”

In the latest in a string of such incidents, Lebanon’s army said “Syrian troops and armed men exchanged fire” across the two countries’ border on Monday and that Lebanese territory was shelled, injuring several civilians.


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