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Cablegate: Unsc Consultations On Unifil, 20 August

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DE RUEHC #6628 2312242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 192225Z AUG 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 7408
INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1186
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 7701
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 9117

UNCLAS STATE 086628

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
USUN FOR SCHEDLBAUER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPKO LE SY IS
SUBJECT: UNSC CONSULTATIONS ON UNIFIL, 20 AUGUST

1. (U) This is an action message.

2. (U) Mission may draw on the talking points in paragraph 3
for the August 20 United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
(UNIFIL) consultations with the UNSC.

3. (SBU) Begin talking points:

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States commends the work of UNIFIL and thanks
Major-General Graziano for his able leadership. We look
forward to the unanimous adoption of the resolution
renewing UNIFIL,s mandate for another year.

This vote will serve as an important reiteration of the
Council,s commitment to the full implementation of
resolution 1701 and illustrate both the Council,s support
and respect for the UN peacekeepers who are working to
build mutual trust and to sustain what the Secretary-General
has described as the "precarious" calm in southern Lebanon.

There is little doubt that the weapons cache that exploded
on July 14 in Khirbet Selm belonged to Hizballah and was
actively maintained. The explosion demonstrates Hizballah,s
disregard for resolution 1701 and clearly illustrates
the continued danger posed by the group,s weapons to
Lebanon, its citizens, and the region as a whole.

We continue to strongly support resolutions 1701 and 1559 in
which the Council has called for all arms in Lebanon to be
brought under the sole authority of the Lebanese state.

As the Secretary General suggests, this incident only
highlights the importance of the efforts of the Lebanese
Armed Forces, assisted by UNIFIL, to discover and remove
weapons and related material that may still be present in
the area of operations, make sure that there are no armed
elements in the area, and prevent the possible smuggling
of weapons across the Litani river.

Maintaining a weapons-free zone in south Lebanon does not
mean simply
that unauthorized weapons are kept out of sight. We call
upon the Lebanese government, working in coordination with
UNIFIL, to ensure that weapons caches like the one in
Khirbat Selm are rooted out.

Compounding the gravity of the incident, stone-throwing
individuals attempted to thwart UNIFIL,s investigation
into the explosion, a serious and intolerable impingement
of UNIFIL,s freedom of movement.

The United States continues to support UNIFIL,s mandate of
freedom of movement in its area of operations, as well as
its authority to undertake all necessary action to ensure
that
the area between the Blue Line and the Litani River is not
used for hostile activities.

We welcome the long-awaited handover of cluster munitions
targeting data to the United Nations. The United States
urges Israel to follow through with an expeditious withdrawal
from northern Ghajar and discontinue its over-flights. We
recognize that Israel links its over-flights to continued
weapons
smuggling across the Lebanese-Syrian border and will
continue to press the Lebanese government for full
enforcement of the arms embargo.

Finally, we commend the continued coordination between the
Lebanese Armed Forces, UNIFIL, and the Israeli Defense
Forces via the regular tripartite meetings in Naqoura,
Lebanon. We encourage Israel and Lebanon to use this
forum to address other issues of mutual concern, and to
explore the possibility of updating and renewing their
dormant armistice agreement as a possible vehicle to
further the broader implementation of resolution 1701.

We are thankful that this Council recognizes the crucial
role that UNIFIL plays in creating a space for progress
throughout the whole of Lebanon and will continue to
encourage Council members fully support UNIFIL and its
operations.

4. (U) End talking points.
CLINTON

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