Thursday, April 20, 2006
A new UN report calls for disbanding of the terrorist group Hezbollah and for setting clear borders between Lebanon and Syria.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in the report, compiled by envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, that it was now `time for Syria to hold a dialogue with Lebanon over exchanging embassies and marking the border between the two countries.'
This report was prepared as a follow-up to Security Council Resolution 1559, which called for Syrian forces to leave Lebanon and for all the militias to be disbanded.
Neither has happened yet.
Interestingly enough, Annan addresses the main raison d'etre for Hezbollah's aggression towards Israel..the supposed dispute over the Shaaba Farms area on the Golan Heights, which Hezbollah says is Lebanese land occupied by Israel. This has been Hezbollah's justification for continuing attacks on Israel since the IDF withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.
The UN report accepts the Israeli claim that the Shaba Farms were taken from Syria and are therefore an Israeli-Syrian issue, not an Israeli-Lebanese one...which, considering the fact that Israel consulted with the UN on this matter and received the UN's offical opinion at the time of the pulloutfrom South Lebanon over twenty years ago is long overdue. "Its current status as Israeli-occupied Syrian territory, does, however, remain valid unless and until the governments of Lebanon and Syria take steps under international law to alter that status," Annan said in the report, first obtained by the Reuters news agency.
The report stresses the necessity for Syria and Lebanon to demarcate their border and to establish normal diplomatic relations. It also discusses the extensive Syrian involvement in Lebanese politics. Roed-Larsen wrote that 11 members of the Lebanese parliament told him Syria had threatened them to get them to vote for pro-Syrian president Emil Lahoud for a third term.
The Bush Administration does not see Lahoud as a legitimate leader but as a Syrian puppet and is channeling its relations with Beirut through Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who visited the White House on Tuesday. President George W. Bush told Siniora then that the US "supports a free and independent and sovereign Lebanon."
The Syria/Lebanon issue, sparked by the Syrian murder of Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri has been on the back burner since the Iran nukes crisis heated up.
Posted by Freedom Fighter at 9:45 AM