Thursday, March 03, 2005

Lebanon 'victory' spurs Syrians to demand a voice - The Washington Times

Lebanon 'victory' spurs Syrians to demand a voice - The Washington Times: World - March 02, 2005

DAMASCUS, Syria -- Demonstrations that brought down the government of neighboring Lebanon on Monday inspired Syria's intellectuals and activists to issue new calls yesterday for greater political participation in their own country -- a nation known for its strict limits on dissent.
"What happened [in Lebanon] was a huge victory not only for the Lebanese people, but for the people of this region," said Wael Sawah, a Syrian political analyst and activist. "This is the first time a Cabinet resigns under popular pressure."
Michel Kilo, another prominent Syrian opposition figure, said that the Lebanese protests could have a ripple effect in Syria.
"The people here will want a bigger role and will start demanding their rights more," Mr. Kilo said.
Outside of the region, calls for Syria's troop withdrawal from Lebanon continued to echo yesterday as they have since last month's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
In London, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Syria must pull its 14,000 troops out of Lebanon.

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