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Lebanese Hizballah Plans Pro-Syria Demonstration

8 March 2005 -- After a series of anti-Syrian protests, demonstrators are expected to take to the streets of the Lebanese capital Beirut today to show their support for the government in Damascus.

The rally has been called by the Shi'ite Muslim Hizballah group and its allies. They want to show support for Damascus and oppose what they call Western interference.

The rally comes a day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese President Emile Lahoud agreed that Syrian troops stationed in Lebanon will be pulled back -- but not out -- by the end of March. The two leaders did not name a date for a full withdrawal.

They said only that Syrian forces would withdraw to the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon by the end of the month.

The U.S. said promises were not enough. White House spokesman Scott McClellan called for the "complete and immediate withdrawal of all military and intelligence forces from Lebanon."