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Cablegate: Unsc Unanimously Extends Unifil's Mandate Amid

VZCZCXRO9702
OO RUEHBZ RUEHROV
DE RUCNDT #0704 2362225
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 242225Z AUG 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2511
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000704

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPKO UNSC IS LE
SUBJECT: UNSC UNANIMOUSLY EXTENDS UNIFIL'S MANDATE AMID
UNEXPECTED DEBATE

REF: STATE 119263

1. (U) The UN Security Council unanimously approved
resolution 1773 on 24 August 2007 to extend the mandate of
the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) until 31
August 2008. (Note: The full text of the resolution is
contained in reftel and can be found on the UN website. End
Note.) The U.S., France, Italy, the UK, Belgium, Slovakia,
and Peru co-sponsored the resolution. France, Italy,
Belgium, and Ghana delivered explanations of vote (EOVs) that
mainly welcomed the Council's unanimous support for UNIFIL
and praised the peacekeeping mission for its role in securing
peace in southern Lebanon. They also paid tribute to the
seven UNIFIL peacekeepers killed in the line of duty over the
past several months. Although Lebanon and Israel
participated in the meeting, they did not speak.

2. (U) In its EOV, South Africa voiced support for UNIFIL but
complained that the resolution should not have included
"sensitive" issues "unrelated" to UNIFIL's mandate that were
"selectively drawn" from the Council's previous statements.
(Note: South Africa was most likely referring to language in
the resolution on the abducted Israeli soldiers and Lebanese
prisoners detained in Israel. End Note.) Qatar and
Indonesia emphasized that all parties must fulfill their
responsibilities under resolution 1701. Indonesia defined
this to mean that Israel should give the UN detailed data on
its use of cluster munitions in south Lebanon and cease its
practice of overflying Lebanese territory.

3. (U) Amb Wolff delivered an EOV that expressed support for
UNIFIL but emphasized the need for progress on other issues
remaining in UNSCR 1701 implementation -- including
disbanding and disarming of militias, compliance with the
arms embargo, and the unconditional and immediate release of
the two abducted Israeli soldiers. In a last-minute
intervention, Russia took exception to comments by "other
member states" about reports of weapons smuggling into
Lebanon. These issues, Russian DPR Scherbak averred, "do not
relate to the resolution." He pointed out that Russia could
have pressed to include language on "other issues" as well,
such as the use of cluster bombs, but had decided to support
the resolution as a "compromise" text.
KHALILZAD

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