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Syria sets summons for Lebanese politician


DAMASCUS, Syria - A Syrian military court has issued a summons for a Lebanese parliamentarian over allegations he urged the United States to invade Syria as it did Iraq. Syrian attorney Hossam al-Deen Habash said Saturday that the legislator, Walid Jumblatt, will be tried in absentia if he defies the summons. Jumblatt has scoffed at the summons, and the United States on Friday condemned it. "These actions are cynical attempts by the Syrian government to continue its interference in the Lebanese political process," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. "These actions must come to an end now." The case stems from an interview with the Washington Post in January when Jumblatt was asked what he wanted from the United States. "You came to Iraq in the name of the majority. You can do the same thing in Syria." he reportedly said. Under judicial agreements signed by Syria and Lebanon, Habash said, Lebanese judicial authorities have to hand Jumblatt over to Syria. International pressure led to Syria's pulling its troops out of Lebanon in April last year, ending nearly a three-decade domination of its smaller neighbor.-AP
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