Wednesday, November 11, 2009

UN ready to work with new Lebanese government, says Secretary-General

11 November 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated the readiness of the United Nations to work with the new unity government in Lebanon in tackling the challenges facing the country.
Mr. Ban spoke by phone today with President Michel Sleiman and separately with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, congratulating them on the appointment of a new Cabinet.

“He expressed his hope that the new Lebanese Government will be committed to the full implementation of resolution 1701,” said UN spokesperson Marie Okabe, referring to the Security Council resolution that helped to end the August 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah.

The resolution also called for respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, disarming of militias and an end to arms smuggling.

Yesterday the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon said that all sides must do more to translate the cessation of hostilities into a permanent ceasefire, citing recent “worrying incidents” in southern Lebanon, including rocket launches and air violations.

“While welcoming the parties’ stated commitment to resolution 1701, which is critical, we also stress the need for more tangible steps to facilitate forward movement in the direction of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution,” Michael Williams told the press after briefing the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701.