Cablegate: Security Council Consultations On Usscr 1559,

DE RUCNDT #0968/01 3031732
O 301732Z OCT 09



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) UN Special Envoy for the Secretary-General for
Implementation of UNSCR 1559 Terje Roed-Larsen briefed the
Security Council in consultation on October 27, 2009. The
positive part of his presentation centered on the restoration
of full diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria and
the successful Lebanese parliamentary elections. However,
his briefing also highlighted unfulfilled provisions of 1559,
in particular the need for continued action on disarming
Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and demarcation of the
Syria-Lebanon border and the threat posed by Hizballah's
destabilizing activities. Council members expressed support
for Lebanon's sovereignty and the establishment of full
diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria. Most members
viewed Hizballah's continued possession of arms, in violation
of UNSCR 1559, as a threat to the Lebanese authorities,
although the Libyan Deputy PermRep claimed that Hizballah was
Lebanon's only defender during the 2006 Israeli attack. A
number of Council members expressed concerns about recent
incidents in southern Lebanon. Russia called for only
"verified and confirmed" information about such incidents to
be included in UN reports. Most members noted Israeli
overflights of Lebanon and continued occupation by Israel of
northern Ghajar. Several members called for upgrading the
living conditions in the Palestinian refugee camps in
Lebanon. End summary.

Larsen's Briefing

2. (SBU) Larsen noted partial successful implementation of
UNSCR 1559, including Lebanon's holding of free and fair
parliamentary elections and the establishment of full
diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria. He outlined
the challenges ahead, including disarming Lebanese and
non-Lebanese militias, noting that such militias are the most
important continued threat to Lebanon. He said that
Hizballah maintains a substantial armed capacity and arsenal
in contravention of UNSCR 1559, and that this is a direct
challenge to the exercise of sovereignty by the Lebanese
state. He said that the series of incidents in Southern
Lebanon over the past weeks indicates that Hizballah is
engaging in acts that are detrimental to Lebanon's stability,
and noted that the 1701 report due in November will have more
details on these, including the October 12 explosion. Larsen
called on Syria and Lebanon to address the "dangerous
anomaly" of their porous border. He expressed concern that
violence within Palestinian refugee camps could spill over to
the rest of Lebanon and called for improvements in the camps'
living conditions. He noted that Israel has still not
withdrawn from northern Ghajar and that diplomatic efforts to
resolve the status of Shebaa Farms have yielded "no positive
results." Larsen noted that the UN protests and deplores all
Israeli overflights. He called on all parties to transcend
sectarian interests in support of what is best for the nation
of Lebanon and expressed hope about the formation of a new
Lebanese government.

Lebanon's sovereignty

3. (SBU) Council members Burkina Faso, China, France, Mexico,
Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam praised Lebanese
parliamentary elections. The French PermRep noted that voter
turn out had been high and that the fragile stability that
Lebanon has achieved thus far is "entirely reversible." The
Turkish Deputy PermRep said that a Hariri government is
within reach and the Chinese Deputy PermRep said that a new
government should be formed by January, when Lebanon joins
the Council. The Burkina Faso PermRep welcomed the "relative
calm" that has developed under President Sulieman. The
Mexican PermRep called the calm atmosphere in which the
elections took place a "sign of the success of Lebanon's
democracy." The Vietnamese PermRep called for all in Lebanon
to adhere to the terms of the Doha Agreement.

Lebanese-Syrian Relations

4. (SBU) Most council members praised the establishment of
full diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria. Several
noted specifically the need to demarcate the Syria-Lebanon
border. The Austrian PermRep called for the joint border
commission to resume work "as soon as possible." Japan,
Russia and Turkey all noted the positive momentum that recent
visits between the leaders of Syria and Saudi Arabia had for

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efforts to stabilize in the region. Austria, Burkina Faso,
Russia, the UK, and Vietnam mentioned the outstanding issue
of the Shebaa Farms. Austria called for Lebanon to confirm
that Shebaa Farms is part of Syria. The Libyan Deputy
PermRep said that since Lebanon and Syria have established
full diplomatic relations, "any talk of continued Syrian
interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon is useless
lip-service." He also complained that the report did not
address any Israeli violations of 1559. Larsen, in his
comments at the end, drew the Libyan DPR's attention to the
exact page and paragraph numbers in the report in which
Israel's violations are discussed.


5. (SBU) Russia and France called on Hizballah to disarm in
the framework of the Lebanese National Dialogue. The Russian
Deputy PermRep said that it is not appropriate to reduce the
issue of disarming militias only to Hizballah, as most
Palestinian factions in Lebanon are armed and "Islamic
fighters find safe harbor near Palestinian refugee camps."
Austria said that "the existence of arms (outside government
control) is the obstacle to a permanent cease-fire between
Lebanon and Israel." The Libyan Deputy PermRep said that
Hizballah was made into a military force by circumstances,
and that during the 33 days of Israeli aggression in 2006,
"the Security Council did not lift a finger to stop the
aggression," and Lebanon found no one to defend it other than
Hizballah. He called Hizballah, "the only deterrent against
Israel taking over Lebanese territory," and described
Hizballah as a "political party contributing to the political
life" of Lebanon. He said that "Hizballah warded off Israeli
aggression and defended the entire territory of Lebanon while
fighting back against the most powerful military force in the
Middle East, which is supported by the most powerful force in
the world." Finally, he regretted that the report focused on
disarming militias, which he described as an internal matter
for the sovereignty of Lebanon. Both Russia and Libya said
that incidents involving Hizballah outside of Lebanon are not
in the purview of UNSCR 1559 and should not be included in
future reports.

Incidents in the South

6. (SBU) Many council members noted the impact of recent
security incidents in southern Lebanon on stability in
Lebanon and the region. France said it is clear from the
July 14 incident in Khirbat Silim and October 12 explosion in
Tay Falsay that the existence of armed militias poses a
threat to the civilian population of Lebanon. Austria noted
that incidents in Khirbat Silim, Tay Falsay, as well as the
firing of rockets at Israel on September 11, underscored the
importance of keeping southern Lebanon a weapons free zone.
The Croatian Deputy PermRep echoed Austrian concerns about
the three incidents. Burkina Faso said the explosions and
firing of rocks demonstrated the lack of progress on full
implementation of UNSCR 1559. Uganda also noted concern over
the incident at Tay Falsay. The Russian Deputy PermRep
reiterated several times that only "verified and confirmed"
information should be considered in UN reports, but praised
UNIFIL efforts to investigate these incidents. Russia also
noted that if the October 17 and 18 explosions in South
Lebanon were indeed caused by the detonation of sensors
placed by Israel, this would be "a clear violation of
Lebanese sovereignty." Larsen, in his response at the end to
members' questions and comments, noted that the incidents in
southern Lebanon would be addressed in the 1701 consultations
on November 10.

Israeli over flights and Ghajar

6. (SBU) Austria, Burkina Faso, China, France, Japan, Mexico,
Russia, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam all noted the
continued Israeli presence in Ghajar in violation of the
terms of UNSCR 1559. Austria called on Israel to respond to
the UN proposal on resolving the situation in Ghajar.
Burkina Faso, China, Croatia, France, Japan, Mexico, Russia,
Uganda, and Vietnam all mentioned violations of Lebanese
airspace by Israel. The Russian Deputy PermRep said that
Israeli explanations about the need for overflights are "not
adequate." The Libyan Deputy PermRep condemned the daily
"Israeli incursions by air, land, and sea."


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Palestinian Refugee Camps

7. (SBU) Austria, Burkina Faso, Japan, Mexico, and the UK
noted the need to improve conditions in the Palestinian
refugee camps. The Austrian PermRep reminded members of the
need to fulfill outstanding pledges for the reconstruction of
the Nahr el Bared camp. The Mexican PermRep called for the
dismantling of Palestinian militia bases and for increased
support for UNRWA to improve the living conditions for
Palestinian refugees.

© Scoop Media

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