Beirut's English newspaper, the Daily Star, contains this charmingly frank text in a boring-sounding article titled, "Sharaa hold [sic] talks with Lahoud on regional issues."
Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq Sharaa held talks with President Emile Lahoud at the Baabda Palace on Monday, hours after Syrian President Bashar Assad began consultations with Lebanese politicians on selecting Lebanon's next president and prime minister. ...
According to an official statement issued by the Presidential Palace, Sharaa conveyed a message from Assad on the Iraqi and Palestinian issues and bilateral relations between Lebanon and Syria.
Assad is due to meet with Baalbek-Hermel MP Hussein Husseini, Tripoli MP Omar Karami and Health Minister Suleiman Franjieh. The Central News Agency said Assad will meet with presidential candidates to form a picture of the Maronite political positions regarding the election.
Ah, for the pleasures of controlling a satellite country (the only one left in the world, by the way) and having the acquiescence of the United States. There's no need to mince words or pretend. (August 17, 2004)