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More Anti-Syria Demonstrations in Beirut

Thousands of demonstrators again took to the streets of Beirut on Sunday, calling for Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and for an end to its influence over the Lebanese government.

Demonstrators defied a government ban on such protests, and clashes were feared after pro-government rallies were planned for Monday at the same time as those sponsored by opposition groups.

U.S. deputy secretary of state David Satterfield, who arrived in Beirut on Sunday, reiterated the American administration’s call for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon and called for an investigation into Al-Hariri’s death.

On Monday, the Lebanese parliament will vote on a motion of no-confidence in the Syrian-backed government of Prime Minister ‘Umar Karami.

The legislative session is the first since the murder of former prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri on February 14. Many legislators blame Syria for the attack.

Israel Radio reported on Monday that the Lebanese government agreed last week to resign, but ministers were dissuaded by Syria’s senior official in Lebanon.