Monday, November 09, 2009

Ban calls on new Lebanese cabinet to fulfil terms ending Israeli-Hizbollah war

9 November 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged Lebanon’s new national unity government to fully implement the Security Council resolution that ended the war between Israel and Hizbollah three years ago.
That resolution called for an end to hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah militants, respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, disarming of militias and an end to arms smuggling. Hizbollah, which has not disarmed, is part of the new unity government.

Mr. Ban said in a report to the Council last month that disbanding militias, especially Hizbollah, was “of vital importance” to Lebanon’s democracy and sovereignty.

In a statement issued today by his spokesperson, he voiced satisfaction that, five months after elections, Lebanese political leaders had been able to agree on the new cabinet. “The Secretary-General hopes that Lebanese political leaders will continue to work together in a spirit of unity, dialogue and cooperation,” the statement said.

Mr. Ban urged the new Government to quickly take up the challenges that remain to consolidate both the sovereignty of Lebanon and the institutional capacity of the Lebanese state, as called for in several accords and Security Council resolutions.

The UN played a role in trying to bridge the gap between the parties to a unity government with Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams meeting with the various factions. On Friday he conferred with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri.