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Cablegate: Syg's Report On Unscr 1701 Implementation:

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #4111 3282249
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 232242Z NOV 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0000

UNCLAS STATE 124111

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL LE IS SY
SUBJECT: SYG'S REPORT ON UNSCR 1701 IMPLEMENTATION:
GUIDANCE FOR THE NOVEMBER 25 UNSC BRIEFING

1. (U) This is an action message. USUN is authorized to
draw from points in para 2 below during the briefing on
the Secretary General's report on implementation of UNSCR
1701 scheduled for November 25.

2. (U) Talking points.

-- I would like to thank the Secretary General for his
latest report on implementation of Security Council
resolution 1701 on the situation in the Middle East.

-- We welcome this report, and its strong reaffirmation of
the international community's support for the sovereignty,
unity, territorial integrity, and political independence
of Lebanon within its internationally-recognized borders
and under the exclusive authority of its Government.

-- The Secretary General has taken a realistic approach in
his report, underscoring the need for greater progress on
all of the key issues required for a permanent ceasefire
and long-term solution.

-- Of particular import is his emphasis on the porous
nature of the Lebanon's border with Syria and the
continuing potential for breaches of the arms embargo.
Full implementation of the embargo is an indispensable and
fundamental provision of resolution 1701 that must be
observed immediately, comprehensively and without
exception. Regional parties that maintain ties with
Hizballah and other groups in Lebanon are obliged to
respect and abide fully by its provisions.

-- Unfortunately, there are persistent reports of breaches
of the arms embargo along the Lebanon-Syria border. As
the Secretary General points out, there has still been no
decisive impact on Lebanon's overall border security and "
this situation renders Lebanon's borders as penetrable as
was the case one year ago." While it is a positive sign
that many stakeholders are taking note of this problem, we
look forward to real progress on the ground in the near
future.

-- The Secretary General is also right to express his
clear concern over the continued maintenance by Hizballah
of a substantial military capacity distinct from that of
the Lebanese State. Two years after the international
conflict instigated by Hizballah, the rearmament of this
group remains the most important matter for the Council to
consider in Lebanon with regard to its duty to safeguard
international peace and security.

-- As the Secretary General points out, Hizballah's
maintenance of a separate military is in direct
contravention of both UNSCR 1701 and 1559(2004). This
poses a continuing risk to the sovereignty of the State.
Events in Lebanon in May of this year demonstrated yet
again the serious threat that armed groups outside of the
control of the State post to the stability of Lebanon.

-- While we note the Secretary General's satisfaction at
the completion of the prisoner exchange as encouraged in
UNSCR 1701, it is worth noting that this exchange was not
between two legitimate governments, but between Israel and
an internationally recognized terrorist organization.

-- The lack of control over arms smuggling across the
Lebanese-Syrian border is connected to Hizballah's efforts
to further upgrade its military power. Both these trends
must be reversed in the interest of international peace
and security both within Lebanon and with respect to its
neighbors.

-- In the report, The Secretary General notes Israel's
statement on the connection between overflights of
Lebanese territory and the lack of enforcement of the arms
embargo. While we do not excuse violations of the Blue
Line, we can understand the compelling interest that
Israel has in gaining information on Hizballah's
rearmament efforts so that it can maintain its own
security and avoid another outbreak of violence.

-- We would also like to take this opportunity to
reiterate our support for the decision by Syria and
Lebanon to establish full diplomatic relations, and look
forward to the implementation of that accord within the
next month as they have declared. Full normalization must
also include delineation of the Lebanese-Syrian border, as
both sides have agreed.

-- Similarly, we welcome the Secretary General's intention
to strengthen the diplomatic process aimed at dealing with
the issues of northern Ghajar, and we applaud his
intention to strengthen the diplomatic process aimed at
dealing with the issue of the Shab'a Farms area, the
status of which can only be resolved via border
delineation by Lebanon and Syria. We urge him to engage
directly with Israel, Lebanon and Syria on these issues.

-- We welcome the Secretary General's call for all parties
to refrain from statements and actions that could serve to
increase tension, and remain concerned about Hizballah's
unacceptable efforts to rearm both north and south of the
Litani and consistent aggressive rhetoric against Israel.

-- Finally, noting Israel's continuing concern about
Hizballah rearming south of the Litani river, we reiterate
our support for the United Nations Interim Force in
Lebanon (UNIFIL) and welcome the clear progress on
furthering cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese
Armed Forces (LAF), which is aimed at addressing this
issue.

-- We also strongly support the work of the UN Independent
Investigative Commission and look forward to the opening
of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

End talking points.
RICE

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