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Talks Between UN Envoy And Lebanese Leader

Talks Between UN Envoy And Lebanese Leader Centre On National Dialogue, Syria

New York, Dec 18 2008 2:10PM

The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon and President Michel Suleiman held talks today on a range of issues, from the holding of national dialogues and reconciliation to the “encouraging” developments regarding the country’s budding relations with Syria.

Michael Williams said he relayed the support of the UN to the national dialogues, set to resume on 22 December and which the President chairs.

“We agreed it is very important for the Lebanese to continue with this process irrespective of any disagreements that may inevitably arise,” Mr. Williams told reporters after the meeting at Baabda Palace. “The United Nations stands ready to assist when required.”

The two men also discussed relations between Lebanon and Syria and the “encouraging” developments that have taken place since President Suleiman’s visit to Damascus in August.

As announced several months ago, the two countries are working towards establishing full diplomatic relations, a move that has been welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a “landmark event” that will benefit both Middle East countries.

Mr. Williams told the President the UN looks forward to the “historic” exchange of embassies and ambassadors between the two countries as soon as possible.

“We welcome the improved coordination between the two countries on a number of other issues and we hope to see progress achieved, including on the management and delineation of the joint borders but also on the fate of the missing people,” he added.

The Special Coordinator also encouraged both Lebanon and Israel to live up to their commitments to resolution 1701, which helped end fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the armed group Hizbollah two years ago.

ENDS

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