President Elias Hrawi arrived in Syria on Saturday after thanking that country's armed forces for helping to crush the 11-month rebellion of Christian Gen. Michel Aoun.
Lebanese officials denied French accusations that Syrian and Lebanese troops executed Aoun's soliders following their surrender.About 300 Syrian soldiers were among the 550 casualties during the eight-hour seige Oct. 13 on an area northeast of Beirut held by Aoun. The Christian militia leader had formed a breakaway government that opposed an Arab League-brokered peace plan because it did not guarantee the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.
"We thank the Syrian army for every drop of blood it shed in Lebanon," Hrawi said Friday.
Syria is the main power broker in Lebanon and has 40,000 troops deployed around the nation, where various Christian and Moslem faction have waged war for 15 years. Syrian troops first arrived in 1976.