UN: The world should give priority to protecting Lebanon


Terje Roed-Larsen, the U.N. Special envoy for the implementation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1559 told the council that the world should give “priority to protecting Lebanon from harm at this difficult time.”

“Lebanon should not become a battleground for actors seeking to advance their own interests at the country’s expense or to destabilize the region,” Roed-Larsen told the Security Council on Friday during a briefing on U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon’s 16th semi-annual report on the implementation of 1559.

He said Lebanon “can come through this critical period safely if its leaders show a measure of unity and responsibility.”

“This will also require that the international community give priority to protecting Lebanon from harm at this difficult time,” he added about the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon.

Roed-Larsen lauded the Baabda Declaration announced in June by Lebanon’s political foes following a national dialogue session held at the presidential palace under President Michel Suleiman.

He said the leaders vowed to making Lebanon neutral with respect to regional and international conflicts and preventing the country’s use as a base or path for the movement of arms and gunmen to Syria.

“This is an achievement that Security Council members and other member states should help the Lebanese government in preserving,” Roed-Larsen said in his briefing.

He also urged Lebanese authorities to conduct a fair and transparent investigation into former Minister Michel Samaha’s case to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Samaha and Syrian security chief Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk have been charged for involvement in smuggling explosives from Syria.

The military court has been examining evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s adviser Buthaina Shaaban was allegedly involved in the case, the envoy said.

UNSCR 1559 adopted on 2 September 2004, after recalling resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982) and 1553 (2004) on the situation in Lebanon, called for free and fair presidential elections in Lebanon and called upon remaining foreign forces ( Syrian) to withdraw from the country.

1559 called upon Lebanon to establish its sovereignty over all of its land . The resolution also called on all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias to disband. In reference to Hezbollah and the Palestinian factions loyael to Syrian president Bashar al Assad.

Naharnet, Agencies