Cablegate: Unsc Consultations On 1701 Report: Member States

DE RUCNDT #0616/01 1930022
O 110022Z JUL 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary. During closed consultations on July 9,
UN Under-Secretary-General (U/SYG) for Political Affairs Lynn
Pascoe and Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, DPKO Asia and Middle East
division director, briefed the Council on the June 27 SYG
report on the implementation of UNSCR 1701. U/SYG Pascoe
reported that serious internal violence poses a significant
threat to national unity in Lebanon but that the Doha
Agreement and the election of President Michel Sleiman were
positive steps. Weisbrod-Weber urged continued Lebanese
Armed Forces (LAF) capacity-building and respect for the Blue
Line. Most delegations welcomed progress on UNSCR 1701
implementation and condemned violations of the resolution,
including Israeli overflights of Lebanon, Israel,s failure
to provide comprehensive data on cluster munitions, and the
lack of progress on the disarmament of armed groups.
Delegations called for engagement by the SYG on finding a
solution to Sheba,a Farms, and some called for Israeli
withdrawal from northern Ghajar. France said that it was
wise to delay discussion on any Council statement on UNSCR
1701 until after discussions conclude on the draft resolution
on Israeli settlements. End summary.

Secretariat Briefs Council on 1701 Report

2. (SBU) Briefing the Council at the start of consultations
on July 9, U/SYG for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe said the
Doha Agreement and the election of President Michel Sleiman
were important intermediate steps towards 1701
implementation, but the continuing presence of armed groups
outside the control of the Lebanese state undermine the key
goals of 1701 and threaten the stability of Lebanon. (Note:
Transcripts of his and Weisbold-Weber,s remarks were
e-mailed to IO/UNP. End Note.) Pascoe said the sectarian
clashes in Tripoli on July 9 and the May events were signs of
the fragility of the process and the need for disarmament --
a fundamental part of the Council,s position on Lebanon --
and enforcement of the arms embargo, a key aspect of 1701.
He said the SYG and the Council must insist on full
compliance with the embargo by all states, including Iran and
Syria. He noted GOL efforts on border management but
reported that the border between Lebanon and Syria is still
porous and breaches are possible. He announced that the
Lebanon Independent Border Assessment Team (LIBAT) will
travel to the region July 16-31 and report back to the UNSC
in August. Pascoe noted Syrian President Asad,s statements
offering to normalize diplomatic relations with Lebanon after
a Lebanese government is formed. He urged both Syria and
Lebanon to begin the process of border demarcation. On the
issue of Sheba,a Farms, he noted that the SYG is willing to
intensify diplomatic efforts and will explore all possible
options, including Siniora,s Seven Point Plan. He
reiterated that a viable solution cannot be imposed on the
parties since all the parties must agree to it. He welcomed
the prisoner exchange agreement but did not go into detail
about its implementation.

3. (SBU) Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, director of DPKO,s Asia
and Middle East division, then briefed on aspects related
specifically to UNIFIL and reiterated that both parties
continue to affirm their commitment to implement UNSCR 1701.
He highlighted the need to restore the capabilities of the
LAF in the UNIFIL area of operations and expressed concern
that many units have been deployed out of the UNIFIL area,
limiting the ability of the LAF and UNIFIL to ensure that the
area south of the Litani River is not used for hostile
activities. Weisbrod-Weber welcomed progress on the
operational integration of Lebanese naval units and UNIFIL,s
Maritime Task Force. On Ghajar, he said that progress on the
withdrawal of the IDF from areas on the basis of UNIFIL,s
proposal was urgently needed. He called the IDF presence
north of the Blue Line an ongoing violation of UNSCR 1701 and
a source of tension. He said that Force Commander Graziano
held preliminary discussions with the Lebanese on UNIFIL,s
proposal and intends to hold discussions with Israeli
representatives. Weisbold-Weber stressed that both parties
have a responsibility to respect the Blue Line in its
entirety and said the parties should continue to invest in
visibly marking the Blue Line. He also noted daily Israeli
violations of Lebanese airspace as well as Israel,s lack of
cooperation in providing information on cluster munitions
technical strike data.

Israeli Overflights Broadly Denounced

4. (SBU) Nearly all delegations expressed concern about
Israel,s overflights of Lebanon. While underscoring
Israel,s concern with smuggling activity in southern

USUN NEW Y 00000616 002 OF 003

Lebanon, the UK called overflights a breach of 1701, which
undermines the GOL. Russia, France, China, Indonesia,
Croatia, and Costa Rica said overflights violate Lebanese
sovereignty and undermine the credibility of the LAF and
hinder UNIFIL,s ability to carry out its mandate. South
Africa and Belgium said that Israeli violations of Lebanon,s
air space heighten tensions, increase the risk of
confrontation, and must be stopped. Libya, in denouncing
overflights, criticized the SYG for not calling such
violations &flagrant8 as he had with the presence of armed
elements in the UNIFIL area. Burkina Faso and Vietnam made
only passing references to overflights along with a list of
other violations.

Many Delegations Call on Israel to
Provide Cluster Munitions Data

5. (SBU) France, China, Russia, South Africa, Burkina Faso,
Libya, Vietnam, and Indonesia called on Israel to satisfy the
SYG,s request for detailed strike data of cluster bombs and
other munitions. Amb Khalilzad called on all sides to
cooperate with the SYG to resolve outstanding issues,
including the location of cluster bomb munitions in southern

Ghajar: Calls for Israeli Withdrawal

6. (SBU) Many delegations, including France and Indonesia,
addressed the issue of Ghajar and called on Israel to
withdraw from that part of the village north of the Blue
Line. Russia called on UNIFIL to play an important role in
ending the Israeli occupation. The UK described UNIFIL,s
Ghajar proposal as potentially confidence-building. Italy
called on both parties to let the SYG know their views on the
UNIFIL proposal as it could be a model for other contested
areas. Libya denounced &Israeli occupation of Sheba,a8
and Ghajar, calling both flagrant violations of 1701 and
noting that their non-resolution prevented GOL implementation
of the Seven Point Plan. Amb Khalilzad raised Ghajar as an
outstanding issue, calling all sides to cooperate with the

Sheba,a Farms: Questions About Proper Approach
--------------------------------------------- -

7. (SBU) The issue of Sheba,a Farms was mentioned by
several delegations, including France, Vietnam, and Belgium.
Most supported the work of the SYG to find a diplomatic
solution. The UK welcomed the SYG,s decision to push for
progress on the Sheba,a Farms. Russia said that no solution
will be effective without the withdrawal of Israeli military
infrastructure from the area. Italy noted the importance of
the UN cartographer,s report, while Croatia argued that
progress on the issue could not be separated from the
principles of 1701. South Africa urged the
&prioritization8 of the Sheba,a Farms and reiterated that
the problem is not with Syria or Lebanon since they have
&long agreed that Sheba,a is a part of Lebanon.8 Rather,
the problem is with Israel,s refusal to withdraw from
Lebanese territory. Costa Rica noted that every four months
Sheba,a Farms is raised in the same tones but not resolved
and that the causes of the conflict must be treated. Libya
called on the SYG to intensify his efforts. Amb Khalilzad
took note of the SYG,s intention to strengthen the
diplomatic process to deal with Sheba,a Farms in the context
of full implementation of 1701. He also welcomed Siniora,s
April 2 letter on Sheba,a, which cited UN cartographer,s
work on geographic definition of Sheba,a as a good basis for

Delegations Note Lack of Progress on Disarmament
--------------------------------------------- ---

8. (SBU) Many delegations noted the lack of progress on the
disarmament of armed groups in Lebanon, but different views
were expressed as to how to address the issue. France,
Burkina Faso, and Italy addressed the issue more generally,
highlighting the threat of armed groups to Lebanon,s
stability and stressing the importance of disarmament.
Libya, Russia, and Indonesia reiterated that disarmament must
be dealt with through a Lebanese political process without
foreign interference. Belgium called for enhancing the
ability of the LAF to take control and called the hindrance
of UNIFIL movements unacceptable. China said that the
targeting of UNIFIL forces should attract the Council,s
attention. Costa Rica noted that the clashes in May
demonstrated the capacity of Hizballah to deploy advanced

USUN NEW Y 00000616 003 OF 003

weaponry in the streets. Russia expressed skepticism about
reports of illegal arms transfers into south Lebanon since
the conclusion of the July 2006 war. Amb Khalilzad,
supported by Croatia, expressed concern about illegal arms
transfers and called for the disarmament of all militias in
accordance with UNSCRs 1559 and 1701. He also called on
UNIFIL to do their utmost to ensure 1701 is respected.

LIBAT and Border Demarcation

9. (SBU) Amb Khalilzad called for the normalization of
Lebanese-Syrian relations, especially the reciprocal
establishment of embassies and border delineation. He said
that full border delineation remains the only permanent
solution to the Sheba,a Farms issue. Russia welcomed
President Asad,s stated willingness to normalize
Syrian-Lebanese diplomatic relations and called on Syrian
authorities to take action to ensure border control. Russia,
France, and Belgium also expressed support for the mission to
assess the implementation of LIBAT recommendations. China
and Indonesia welcomed UNIFIL efforts to visibly mark the
Blue Line.

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