UN urges Hezbollah to “refrain from any military activity inside and outside Lebanon”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged president Michel  Aoun to revive the dialogue  around a national defense strategy , expressing concern worried about the Hezbollah’s military role.

“More than six years after the conflict broke out in Syria, Lebanon continues to face the political, economic, humanitarian and social consequences of this crisis on its own soil, the consequences of which are constantly jeopardizing its stability, “Said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his 25th semi-annual report on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004).

This document, which assesses the implementation of the resolution since 21 October 2016, was the subject of consultations yesterday in the Security Council. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, in charge of this issue, briefed Council members on the situation in Lebanon and on the implementation of the resolution.

While several provisions of resolution 1559 have been implemented, a number of others, including the presence and activities of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the delimitation of the Lebanese-Syrian border, remain to be implemented. The Secretary-General noted that the conflict in Syria was one of the factors that prevented progress at this level and stressed that “the lack of progress can not in any way justify a tolerance of the action of armed militias who refuse to To lay down their arms “, alluding to Hezbollah.

Political Dynamics
In his remarks, Antonio Guterres also noted the importance of the political advances made in Lebanon. According to him, the election of President Michel Aoun and the appointment of Prime Minister Saad Hariri as well as the rapid formation of a government constitute “the indispensable starting point for the functioning of all Lebanese institutions”. Recalling that the national dialogue is under the direct authority of the president, the head of the UN encourages the president to “take advantage of the current political dynamics to revive the talks around the national defense strategy”.
He also pointed out that the adoption of a budget, “for the first time in twelve years, would contribute decisively to the dynamization of the institutions” and warned against a paralysis of the legislative power. “It is important that the political capital resulting from an agreement of government, sealed at the cost of considerable efforts, is not compromised by the paralysis of the Parliament”, he points out before calling for the organization of the elections (Legislative) “to fully restore the functions of Parliament and to ensure the efficient and simultaneous functioning of the three powers of the State”.“The ministerial declaration reiterating Lebanon’s commitment to implementing international resolutions is a step forward,” notes the UN Secretary-General. He called on Lebanon to also reaffirm its willingness to implement the unbundling policy and the Baabda declaration.

The Secretary-General noted in this framework the “imposing and sophisticated military means available to Hezbollah, which continue to cause serious anxiety”. He called on the Shiite party and all parties concerned to “refrain from any military activity inside and outside the country”.

It is in this spirit that the Secretary-General once again urges the Lebanese army and government “to take the necessary measures to prevent Hezbollah and other armed groups from acquiring weapons and developing paramilitary Margin of the authority of the State “. In the interest of Lebanon and in order to promote peace and security in the region, Guterres called on “countries with close ties to the party of God to encourage it to lay down their arms and become a party Exclusively civilian policy “, in accordance with the Taif Agreements and Resolution 1559.

He recalls in this context that the participation of Lebanese citizens in the conflict in Syria violates the policy of dissociation and the principles of the Baabda declaration, posing a serious threat to the stability and sovereignty of Lebanon. He said he was “deeply concerned by the threat that terrorism and violent extremism practiced by groups such as the Islamic State group and the former al-Nusra Front  continue to pose a threat to Lebanon.”
Antonio Guterres welcomes the efforts of the Lebanese army to maintain security in the country. He condemned the attacks on Lebanon’s sovereignty and called on the Syrian government to “respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country” and “refrain from any interference with the security of its borders”. He also called on Israel to “respect its obligations under Security Council resolutions to withdraw its forces from Ghajar and the area adjacent to the blue line”.

Translated from

L’Orient-Le Jour