Cablegate: Guidance for 1559 Consultations, May 8


DE RUEHC #8654 1282340
O 072334Z MAY 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) This is an action message. USUN may draw from the
points in para 2 below during consultations on the
implementation of UNSC resolution 1559, currently scheduled
for May 8.

2. (U) Begin points.

-- We welcome the Secretary General's report and Mr.
Larsen's briefing on implementation of UNSC resolution 1559.

-- As we meet here today, Lebanon appears once again on the
brink of conflict. The Hizballah-led opposition has
confronted Lebanon's legitimate government, using violence
and intimidation in an effort to usurp authority from the
people and government of Lebanon. On May 6, the Lebanese
cabinet declared Hizballah's internal communications network
and surveillance of Beirut International Airport illegal and
resolved to root out these threats to government authority
and internal security. Hizballah and its opposition allies
responded with demonstrations, scattered violence, and
threats of escalation if the government did not withdraw its

-- It is clear that Hizballah is constructing a
state-within-a-state without regard for the authority of the
Lebanese government, the safety and stability of the nation,
or the collective wishes of the Lebanese people. Hizballah's
leadership also continues to claim that it has rebuilt its
arsenal and increased its military capacity since the summer
2006 conflict with Israel. We note this implies serious
violations of several resolutions of this Council. We are
deeply concerned that, beyond the recently demonstrated
willingness to cripple the Lebanese state and economy in
pursuit of its narrow political agenda, Hizballah maintains
the ability to unilaterally drag Lebanon into another

-- So long as the Hizballah-led opposition acts in defiance
of Lebanon's legitimate government, works to construct a
parallel state, and cynically calls for "dialogue" to delay
Presidential elections and meetings of the Parliament, it
blocks continued progress in implementing the resolutions of
this Council and constitutes a continuing threat to peace and
security in Lebanon and the region.

-- In this regard, we call upon the Council and the
international community to assist the Lebanese government in
its efforts to govern on behalf of all Lebanese and to
prevent the emergence of a parallel state. Hizballah and
its patrons in Syria and Iran must comply fully with all
Security Council resolutions and with the decisions of the
legitimate Lebanese government.

-- On a related note, I would like to reiterate our concern
that it has not yet been possible to hold a presidential
election in Lebanon. As I noted just a month ago during
consultations on UNSC resolution 1701, the United States
continues to hope that Lebanon will elect a president without
preconditions. We support the right of Lebanon's democratic
majority to see that the Lebanese Parliament fulfills its
constitutional duty in this regard. While a consensus
candidate has been agreed upon, we are concerned that the
Hizballah-led opposition, with political support from Syria,
is using extra-constitutional preconditions to perpetuate the
political stalemate at the expense of the Lebanese people.

-- On the matter of Lebanese-Syrian relations, the United
States joins the Secretary-General in regretting the complete
lack of progress in establishing a relationship between these
two states that recognizes Lebanon's independence,
sovereignty, and right to freedom from foreign interference.
We again urge the Syrian government to respond to the
requests of the Lebanese government to undertake serious
talks aimed at delineating their common border. Syria
reports that such talks are ongoing, but in fact none of the
meetings of the bilateral commission have focused on the
issues of delineation and demarcation.

-- Further, Syria continues to refuse to establish diplomatic
relations with Lebanon so long as there is what it
characterizes as a "hostile" government in Beirut. We find
Syrian fears of a "hostile" neighbor difficult to understand
given that weapons continue to flow from Syria into Lebanon
and that Syria's allies in Lebanon are working to undermine
the legitimate government of Lebanon. We again call upon the
Syrian government to immediately normalize its relations with
Lebanon and establish an embassy in Beirut.

-- Progress on these outstanding provisions of UNSCR 1559 is
long overdue. It is telling that Syria is unwilling to make
even these most basic acknowledgments of Lebanon's

-- On the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon, I note
that with the exception of the northern part of Ghajar,
Israel has fully withdrawn from Lebanese territory, and the
LAF has deployed throughout the country for the first time in
nearly 40 years. We applaud this historic deployment and
encourage all sides to accelerate trilateral efforts to find
an early resolution to the issue of Ghajjar.

-- On militia disarmament, this report details disturbing
information about mounting reports that militias are
expanding their existing weapons arsenals or are reacquiring
an armed capacity. The report also notes the Secretary
General's deep concern about the activities of the PFLP-GC
and Fatah al-Intifada along the Lebanese-Syrian border. In
this context, we note that the Lebanese opposition has called
for renewed National Dialogue. We would hope to see the
conclusions of the 2006 National Dialogue, including the
commitment to disarm Palestinian militias outside refugee
camps, implemented first.

-- Finally, I applaud the efforts of Lebanese security
services, especially the Lebanese Armed Forces under the
leadership of General Michel Sleiman, to implement UNSCRs
1559 and 1701 while working to contain threats from armed
groups in Lebanon and maintain law and order throughout the
country during this time of great political tension.

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