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Security Council welcomes 'significant progress' in compliance with Lebanon resolution

4 May 2005 The United Nations Security Council today welcomed that the concerned parties have made "significant progress" towards implementing some of the provisions of a resolution that calls for withdrawing all foreign forces from Lebanon but expressed concern that other requirements of the measure have not been met.

In a statement read out during a formal meeting by the Council President for May, Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark, the 15 members expressed concern that no progress had been made in particular on the resolution's call for the disarmament of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia and the extension of Government control over all Lebanese territory.

"The Security Council reiterates its call for the full implementation of all requirements of [resolution] 1559 and calls upon all concerned parties to cooperate fully with the Security Council and the Secretary-General to achieve this goal," she said. The Council shared the view that the full implementation of the resolution would contribute positively to the situation in the Middle East in general.

The statement also acknowledged that full and complete Syrian withdrawal would represent a significant and important step towards Lebanon's full political independence and full exercise of its sovereignty that is the ultimate goal of resolution 1559, thus opening a new chapter in Lebanese history.

Ambassador Løj said: "The Security Council calls upon the Syrian and Lebanese Governments to extend their full cooperation to the United Nations verification team dispatched by the Secretary-General, with their agreement, to verify whether there has been full and complete withdrawal, and looks forward to his report."

The statement also welcomed the deployment of Lebanese armed forces to positions vacated by Syrian forces and the Government of Lebanon's assumption of responsibility for these areas, and called for the deployment of additional Lebanese armed forces throughout the south of the country.

It urged all concerned parties to do the utmost to safeguard Lebanon's stability and national unity, and underlined the importance of national dialogue among all Lebanese political forces in this regard.

"The Security Council commends the Lebanese people for the dignified manner in which they have expressed their views and for the commitment to a peaceful and democratic process," Ambassador Løj said, adding that the Council stressed that the Lebanese people must be allowed to decide the future of their country free of violence and intimidation.

"It condemns in this context the recent terrorist acts in Lebanon that have resulted in several deaths and injuries and calls for their perpetrators to be brought to justice," she added.

Welcoming the decision of the Lebanese Government to conduct elections beginning on 29 May, Ambassador Løj said the Council shared the Secretary-General's view that a delay in holding the Parliamentary elections "would contribute to exacerbating further the political divisions in Lebanon and threaten the security, stability and prosperity of the country.

"The Council underlines that free and credible election held without foreign interference or influence would be another central indication of the political independence and sovereignty of Lebanon," she said. The Council also encouraged the Secretary-General and the Lebanese Government to reach arrangements for international assistance, including United Nations assistance, to ensue that such elections are conducted in a free and credible manner, including international governmental and or non-governmental electoral observers.



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