Friday, November 20, 2009

Lebanon: UN force commander confers with prime minister on security in south

19 November 2009 – The military chief of United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon today met separately with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to discuss the security situation in the south of the country.
UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Commander Major General Claudio Graziano said afterward he told Mr. Hariri of the mission’s readiness to continue to work with the Lebanese Army and the Government on common objectives towards implementing the Security Council resolution adopted in 2006 on the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah militants.

Resolution 1701 expanded UNIFIL, which currently has nearly 13,000 military personnel in south Lebanon, and called for an end to hostilities, respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, the disarming militias and an end to arms smuggling.

Hizbollah has not disarmed, and earlier this month Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said sporadic rocket launches into Israel, almost daily Israeli flights over Lebanon, the active maintenance of an arms depot by Hizbollah and the apparently Israeli surveillance equipment left on Lebanese territory raised the spectre of a potential escalation.