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Syria: Move against arms movements into Lebanon

Security Council calls on Syria to take steps against arms movements into Lebanon

The United Nations Security Council today called on Syria to take measures against movements of arms into Lebanon, “strongly encouraged” it to respond positively to Lebanese requests to delineate their common border and establish full diplomatic relations, and called for the disbandment of all militias inside Lebanon.

“Such measures would constitute a significant step towards asserting Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and improving the relations between the two countries, thus contributing positively to the stability in the region,” the 15-member body said in a resolution passed by 13 votes in favour with two abstentions – China and the Russian Federation.

The resolution noted with regret that the disbanding and disarming of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias had still not been implemented as required by the Council’s earlier Resolution 1559 and voiced concern that there had been arms movements into Lebanon’s territory for militias over the last six months.

One of the main provisions of that resolution was attained last year with the withdrawal of Syrian troops from its smaller neighbour, where they had been stationed since the Lebanese civil war that began in 1975, and the Council also welcomed progress in another area, the Lebanese national dialogue.

But it regretted that other provisions of resolution 1559 had not yet been fully implemented, including militia disbandment, extension of Government control over all Lebanon, strict respect of the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence, and free and fair presidential elections conducted according to the Lebanese constitutional rules, without foreign interference and influence.

Resolution 1559 was adopted in September 2004 amid concern over the controversial three-year extension of President Emile Lahoud’s term.

Today’s resolution 1680 welcomed the decision of the Lebanese national dialogue to disarm Palestinian militias outside refugee camps within six months and called for further efforts to disband and disarm all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and restore fully the Lebanese Government’s control over all Lebanese territory.

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