U.S. President George W. Bush warned Syria on Monday night to comply with his administration's demand to shut down Hizbullah's Damascus offices, and to disarm the organization.
Bush told the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation Monday Hizbullah "is a dangerous organization" that is "trying to destabilize the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians." He said if Syria refuses to disarm the group, he could work to apply diplomatic pressure and rally the international community against Syria.
"Syria has got to do its part about making sure that Hizbollah doesn't receive support from Syria," Bush said in the interview.
The U.S. administration blames Hizbullah for numerous attacks since the 1980s. But this was the first time Bush spoke directly about the group.
Applauds Syrian pullout
Bush stated he expects to see it completed so he can finally initiate a process that may stabilize Lebanon in its post-Syrian days. "I am pleased that they're beginning to get out," Bush said.
"And we expect them to be completely out. And I mean not only the troops, but the people that have had — that have been embedded in parts of government, some of the intelligence services that have been embedded in government and others," he added.
Washington demands a full Syrian withdrawal before the Lebanese parliamentary elections, to be held before the legislature's term expires on May 31.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has said his country's remaining 8,000 soldiers and intelligence agents will leave Lebanon by April 30th.