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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Apr 15th
Home arrow News Content arrow Report 1701 - Ban Makes Clear Syria, Iran Should Respect Hizbullah Arms Embargo
Report 1701 - Ban Makes Clear Syria, Iran Should Respect Hizbullah Arms Embargo PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 29 June 2007


Nearly a year after the end of the Israel-Hizbullah war, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon deplored failure to arrive at a permanent ceasefire in south Lebanon and said Syria and Iran should respect an arms embargo against Hizbullah.

In his fourth report since Security Council resolution 1701 was adopted last August to end the conflict, the secretary general also lamented the lack of progress in obtaining the release of abducted Israeli soldiers and in securing an end to Israeli incursions into Lebanese airspace.

The July 12, 2006 killing of eight Israeli soldiers and the abduction of two others by Hizbullah precipitated a conflict that left nearly 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead, much of Lebanon's infrastructure destroyed and caused severe economic damage to both countries.

"I would call on Lebanon, Israel and key states such as Syria and Iran ... to support the implementation of all aspects of Resolution 1701," Ban said on Thursday.

He stressed that persistent reports of breaches of the arms embargo along the Lebanon-Syria border "constitute a major impediment to the establishment of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution as envisaged in Resolution 1701."

He pointed to a report released earlier this week by a U.N. assessment team recently back from Lebanon that urged the deployment of "international border security experts" to help a new Lebanese border force stop arms smuggling from neighboring Syria.

Ban made it clear that Syria, other regional states and Iran "have a particular responsibility to ensure that the provisions related to the arms embargo are fully respected."

The secretary general also said the beefed-up U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) deployed in the south last August reported "a significant increase" in Israeli air incursions into Lebanese airspace.

"Israeli overflights ... constitute repeated violations of that and other relevant Security Council resolutions and also undermine the credibility" of both UNIFIL and the Lebanese armed forces in the eyes of the local population.

Ban deplored Sunday's bomb attack which claimed the lives of six peacekeepers serving with a Spanish U.N. contingent.

He expressed disappointment at the failure of Syria and Lebanon to demarcate their common border and again urged them to take steps to do so.

And he specifically asked Damascus to reconsider its position that a resolution of the dispute over the Shabaa Farms would be possible only after a peace treaty with Israel.

Lebanon, backed by Damascus, is claiming sovereignty over the Shabaa Farms, the 25 square kilometers of land located along the Lebanon-Syria-Israeli borders which Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and then annexed along with the rest of the Golan Heights.

The U.N. has offered to manage the territory, which has been a central pretext for Hizbullah's battle against the Jewish state after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, until a final settlement is negotiated.

Ban said he intends to ask the Security Council to approve Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's request for a one-year extension of UNIFIL's mandate, which expires August 31. The report put current UNIFIL strength at 13,313.(AFP-Naharnet) 

Beirut, 29 Jun 07, 06:31

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 June 2007 )
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