By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer

BEIRUT, Lebanon – The U.N. Security Council’s call for Syria to establish diplomatic ties with Lebanon will likely only stiffen Damascus’ resolve against a move it has steadfastly rejected for six decades. At least three factors are at work to discourage Syria from heeding the U.N. resolution, aimed at restoring Lebanon’s sovereignty following Syria’s 29-year occupation of its smaller neighbor.

Uppermost among them, the resolution cannot be enforced. That makes it a piece of "propaganda with no political value that could provoke the Syrians and undermine resumption of relations," said Sateh Noureddine, managing editor of a pro-Syrian Lebanese newspaper, As-Safir.

Beyond that, the political atmosphere between the eastern Mediterranean neighbors is likely to remain acrimonious while an anti-Syrian government remains in charge in Beirut.

And finally, Syria is still smarting from the hurried and forced withdrawal of its army from Lebanon in April 2005 under international and Lebanese pressure.

Syria, reacting with unusual speed to Wednesday’s U.N. resolution, criticized it as an unprecedented interference in the affairs of two countries.

"I’m afraid it will complicate matters further," said George Jabbour, a Syrian legislator. "The Security Council’s intervention in such a way was a disappointment to all those who would like to see friendly and brotherly relations between the two countries."

Syria has sidestepped formal links with Beirut since the two countries gained independence from France in 1943, preferring to influence its neighbor through allies inside Lebanon and then by sending in its army. Syrian troops went to Lebanon to help quell the 1975-90 civil war, but stayed on after the fighting ended.

The army pulled out after massive demonstrations sparked by the February 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Anti-Syrian groups blamed Damascus for the murder, as well as other bombings and assassinations in the last two years. A U.N. investigation has implicated Syrian intelligence officials in Hariri’s killing, but Damascus denies involvement.

The Syrians argue diplomatic relations are unnecessary because ties between the countries are much closer than can be defined by such a formal link. But many Lebanese suspect Syria has never accepted that Lebanon is an independent country and remains angered that parts of it were carved out of the former Syrian province of the Ottoman Empire in 1920.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said the U.N. resolution ignored Syria’s stand that "it was not, in principle, against diplomatic relations between the two countries" under a more favorable climate.

Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, speaking to the Syrian Parliament, said Damascus wants to develop relations with Beirut but would not rush to implement the U.N. call to establish ties and demarcate the border. Doing so now, he said, "would never serve Lebanon’s interests nor Syria’s."

Syria has opposed marking the border in the disputed Chebaa Farms region while it remains controlled by Israel. Lebanon claims the sliver of land where the borders of Syria, Lebanon and Israel meet.

The U.N. considers it Syrian territory occupied by Israeli during the 1967 Mideast war. Hezbollah guerrillas, who control much of southern Lebanon, occasionally attack Israeli troops there.

Lebanon’s government, dominated by anti-Syrians, welcomed the international backing for its call for diplomatic ties and border demarcation.

Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said he hoped "channels and doors" would open for Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to visit Damascus and hash out solutions to disputes between the two countries. The Lebanese have sought such a trip for two months, but Syria has not responded.