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Lebanon: UN Envoy Supports Start Of Dialogue

Lebanon: UN Envoy Supports Start Of National Dialogue To Strengthen State Control

New York, Feb 24 2006

A top United Nations envoy told the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament that he supported national dialogue as a way to accomplish the disbanding of foreign and domestic militias in the country and meet other Security Council requirements.

Terje Roed-Larsen, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Envoy for the Implementation of resolution 1559, spoke by phone yesterday with Nabih Berri to convey Mr. Annan’s views in that regard.

In a statement last month on the issue, the Security Council said that much progress had been made since the adoption of resolution 1559, which called for an end to foreign influence in Lebanon, including the withdrawal of Syrian forces and the holding of credible parliamentary elections in May and June 2005.

However, it called on the Government of Lebanon to make more progress in controlling its territory and disbanding militias, while also calling on Syria to cooperate with those efforts and to take measures to stop movements of arms and personnel into Lebanon.

The Council said such progress should be made through “a broad national dialogue.”

ENDS

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