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Cablegate: Guidance for Unsc Resolution 1701 Consultation,

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DE RUEHC #4301 0680040
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O 080035Z MAR 08
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TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 0000
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UNCLAS STATE 024301

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL IS LE SY
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE FOR UNSC RESOLUTION 1701 CONSULTATION,
MARCH 10

1. (U) This is an action request. USUN may draw from the
points in para 2 below during UNSC resolution 1701
consultations, currently scheduled for March 10. End action
request:

2. (U) Begin points.

-- We welcome the Secretary General's report and the
briefing by Mr. Pedersen on the implementation of resolution
1701.

-- Before I begin discussing implementation of UNSC
resolution 1701, I would like to reiterate our concern that
it has not yet been possible to hold a presidential election
in Lebanon. The United States urges the Lebanese to move
quickly to pave the way for a president to be elected.
Although the Lebanese have agreed on a candidate, we are
concerned that Syria and its allies within Lebanon are using
other preconditions to further perpetuate the political
stalemate. However, until such time as a new president takes
office, the United States has full confidence in, and fully
supports, the legitimate Lebanese Government in managing the
affairs of the state and in continuing to provide security
through the Lebanese Armed Forces.

-- I would also like to observe that, since the last report
on UNSCR 1701, Lebanon has witnessed two more political
assassinations: That of Lebanese Armed Forces Brigadier
General Francois al-Hajj on December 12, 2007 and that of
Internal Security Forces Captain Wissam Eid on January 25,
2008. It is appalling that these kinds of political
assassinations continue to occur with impunity in Lebanon
three years after the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri
and almost a year after the Council passed resolution 1757 to
establish the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

-- I wish to make seven main points about the situation in
Lebanon as it relates to the provisions of resolution 1701.

-- First, the U.S. remains deeply concerned about illegal
arms transfers across the Syrian-Lebanese border in
contravention of UNSCR 1701. I note that Hizballah claims it
has replenished its military arsenal since the 2006 war. We
fully support the Secretary General,s call for a process to
disarm all militias in Lebanon in accordance with resolution
1559 and the Ta,if Accords. As the Secretary General
reports, Hizballah has not denied reports that it is
conducting training and constructing new facilities in the
Bekaa valley and north of the Litani River. In accordance
with resolutions 1559 and 1680 of this Council, Hizballah
must disarm, and it must do so now.

-- Hizballah,s statements stand in stark contrast to Syrian
claims that allegations of weapons smuggling across the
Syrian-Lebanon border are motivated by political rather than
security considerations. We strongly support the Secretary
General,s observation, which he has made for the fifth time
since last summer's war, that Syria and Iran have a
particular responsibility to ensure that the arms embargo in
resolution 1701 is fully respected.

-- Second, the U.S. shares the Secretary General's concerns
that militias such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine - General Command and Fatah al-Intifada maintain
heavily armed military positions along the Syria-Lebanon
border. As the report notes, the existence of these
positions pose a direct and continuing challenge to the
sovereignty of Lebanon. The U.S. joins with the Secretary
General in calling again for full border delineation between
Lebanon and Syria. We note that meetings between Syrian and
Lebanese border control officials did not address the issue
of border delineation, despite Syria's claims.

-- Third, although the Syrian-Lebanese border can only be
secured when all regional states decide to honor their
commitments under resolution 1701, the recommendations of the
Lebanon Independent Border Assessment Team (LIBAT) serve as a
blueprint for increasing Lebanon's border security capacity.
We are encouraged that Lebanon has made
progress in implementing these recommendations and welcome
the Secretary General's proposal for a follow-on mission.
The U.S. stands ready to assist this assessment team. We
would also like to encourage the UN assessment team to liaise
with the German-led border project.

-- Fourth, we commend UNIFIL and the troops serving in it for
their efforts to carry out their mandate. We want to
highlight in particular the close working relationship
General Graziano and his team have established with the
Lebanese Armed Forces. We call for further support for
UNIFIL,s quick impact projects in the south that are
essential for UNIFIL to build confidence and support among
the local population. The U.S. supports UNIFIL,s plans for
mitigating risks to its personnel in the wake of recent
terrorist attacks and continuous threats.

-- Fifth, we commend the LAF and other Lebanese security
services for their professionalism in the face of daunting
political and security challenges. We share the Secretary
General,s concern that the Lebanese Armed Forces are
stretched too thin and encourage Member States to support the
LAF by providing funding and materiel. The United States has
already committed $371 million in grant assistance to the
LAF, but this meets only a portion of their needs.

-- Sixth, we welcome the commitment of both Lebanon and
Israel to the full implementation of resolution 1701. We
urge all sides to accelerate trilateral efforts to find an
early resolution to the issue of Ghajjar, to address the
issue of unexploded ordnance in south Lebanon, and to mark
and ensure full respect for the Blue Line.

-- Finally, we deeply regret Hizballah,s continual refusal
to provide any information about the two abducted Israeli
soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. We are appalled
that Hizballah is placing conditions and demands for their
release that are outside the scope of 1701. We reiterate our
call on Hizballah to immediately and unconditionally release
them.

-- While much has been accomplished towards implementing the
Council,s decree in UNSC resolution 1701, much more remains
to be achieved. We must all recommit ourselves to ensuring
that resolution 1701 is fully implemented, including
compliance with the arms embargo, release of soldiers, and
progress towards disarmament. The United States stands ready
to do its part towards this goal.

End points.
RICE

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