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Lebanon: UN envoy and Prime Minister discuss prospects for long-term ceasefire

16 June 2010 – The top United Nations envoy to Lebanon met today with the country’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri to discuss further implementation of Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizbollah.

“We hope both sides exert more efforts to help push the current cessation of hostilities towards a long-term ceasefire,” the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said in a statement, referring to Lebanon and Israel.

Resolution 1701 calls for respect of the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, the disarming of all militias operating in Lebanon and an end to arms smuggling in the area.

The Special Coordinator today called for an end to daily violations by Israel of Lebanese airspace and the continued occupation of the northern part of the divided town of Ghajar.

He said following that during the meeting, the Prime Minister had assured him that Lebanon would respect “the Blue Line in its entirety.”

In addition, the Special Coordinator praised what he called “notable progress in recent days” between Lebanon and Syria.

“I welcome warmly progress on such bilateral issues, which are of direct relevance to the implementation of 1701,” Mr. Williams said, referring to a meeting held yesterday between Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad to discuss the delineating and demarcation of the common border.

Mr. Williams also noted the next session of the National Dialogue, a discussion session between political parties, which is due to resume tomorrow.

The session is expected to move forward on the development of a national defence strategy to address the issue of arms outside State control, a provision in resolution 1701.

The issues discussed at today’s meeting will appear in a report to the Security Council which is due at the end of the month, focused on provisions of resolution 1701 which require further progress and greater effort.



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