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Annan: Syria Agrees to Prevent Rearming of Hezbollah

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says Syria will increase border security to prevent the flow of arms to Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group.

The U.N. chief made the remark after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus today (Friday). Mr. Annan says the Syrian leader has promised to "take all necessary measures" to implement the U.N. resolution that ended the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah.

The resolution calls on countries to prevent the supply of arms into Lebanon without the consent of the government in Beirut.

Syria is suspected of funneling Iranian arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

After talks with the U.N. chief Thursday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem called for Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, and for the lifting of its air, land and sea blockade of the country.

Israel has said it will not lift the blockade until the U.N. ceasefire resolution is fully implemented, including the release of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah in July.

Mr. Annan says Israel should withdraw from Lebanon once five thousand international troops are deployed in southern Lebanon.

Up to one thousand Italian soldiers are due to arrive in Lebanon as early as Saturday. France says its troops will leave for Lebanon in a few days.