Joined: 09 Sep 2006
|Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:18 pm Post subject: Israel encouraged by UN call for Hizbullah to be dismantled
|Israel encouraged by UN call for Hizbullah to be dismantled
~mark weiss and ap ,
THE JERUSALEM POST Oct. 19, 2008
Israel welcomed a call from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for
Hizbullah to be disbanded.
"If Lebanon is a sovereign state with an army, it must have a monopoly over
power and the situation where Lebanese political parties have armies is
totally unacceptable," a Foreign Ministry official told The Jerusalem Post
Ban said Thursday he was encouraged by the positive developments in
relations between Lebanon and Syria, but called on the two countries to take
further steps to improve security along the border.
He also warned that Lebanon would not be a fully sovereign state until
Hizbullah and other militia groups were disbanded.
The secretary-general's six-month report to the UN Security Council focused
on Lebanon's progress in holding presidential elections, but underscored the
immediate danger of armed groups.
"Over the last six months, Lebanon has experienced both the ruinous effects
of sectarian violence and hope and optimism," he said in the report.
"I applaud the historical steps that have been taken so far by Presidents
Suleiman and Assad," he said. "For the first time since their independence,
the two neighboring states are establishing diplomatic relations."
The foreign ministers of Syria and Lebanon signed a document last Wednesday
formalizing diplomatic ties between the two countries for the first time in
their turbulent history.
Israel welcomed Syria's commitment to begin fulfilling its international
obligations but stressed that this is just the first step.
"Israel expects Syria to fulfill its other international obligations by
stopping support for terrorism and particularly Hizbullah in Lebanon,
stopping interference in internal Lebanese affairs and to start implementing
UN Security Council Resolution 1701," the Foreign Ministry official said.
Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War, called for the
dismantling of all militias in Lebanon.
Ban, in his report, said in addition to establishing diplomatic relations,
Lebanon and Syria must also take concrete steps to implement other
agreements reached during these meetings, including "joint activity to
improve security arrangements along that border."
In his April report, Ban highlighted the mounting international concern over
Lebanon's failure to fill the presidential post, left vacant after
pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud stepped down last November.
In Thursday's report, he said the most significant progress made in the last
six months was Lebanon's compliance with requirements for a "free and fair
presidential election according to Lebanese constitutional rules."
Ban said Lebanese President Michel Suleiman's election on May 25
"represented a significant step forward," but said "I remain concerned by
the political assassinations and explosions that continue to plague
The secretary-general said that clashes in May and violent incidents since
then raised concerns "that groups on all sides of the political spectrum may
In the report, Ban called on Lebanese parties to immediately halt all
efforts to acquire and build paramilitary capabilities.
He reiterated that disarming and disbanding all Lebanese and non-Lebanese
militias should be done through a political dialogue "that will lead to the
monopoly on the use of force by the government of Lebanon throughout all of
"The ultimate purpose of disarmament is the establishment of a strong
Lebanese state for all inhabitants of Lebanon," he said.
"Hizbullah's maintenance of separate military assets and infrastructure is a
fundamental challenge to the government's attempts to consolidate the
sovereignty and authority of the Lebanese state," he said.
"In addition, several Palestinian militias operate in the country, inside
and outside of refugee camps," he said, adding that they also undermine the
stability of the country and the region.
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
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