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Published:December 14th, 2006 03:01 EST
U.N. Security Council Condemns Attempts To Destabilize Lebanon

U.N. Security Council Condemns Attempts To Destabilize Lebanon

By SOP newswire

United Nations -- The U.N. Security Council December 12 condemned any attempt to destabilize Lebanon and reiterated its "full support for the legitimate and democratically elected government."

In a presidential statement read during a formal council meeting, Council President Jamal Nasser Al-Bader of Qatar urged all parties to pay "full respect for the democratic institutions of the country, in conformity with the constitution."

During the council debate on the Middle East, acting U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff said the current demonstrations in Lebanon "are an attempt by Hezbollah and its allies, with support from Syria and Iran, to overthrow Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's democratically elected pro-reform, pro-sovereignty government in a clear bid to re-establish Syrian control over Lebanon."

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s December 13 remarks that the international community should not interfere in Lebanese affairs are “highly ironic."

“[Syria] might want to start by opening an embassy and actually having diplomatic relations with their neighboring state, and giving up on their aspirations to manipulate the domestic politics of Lebanon," he said.  (See related article.)

Wolff said that the recent assassination of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel "underscores the threat to the physical safety of Lebanon's remaining Cabinet ministers."  (See related article.)

The ambassador also said acquiescing to a status quo in Lebanon that permits militias to remain armed and unchecked only will contribute to instability in the Middle East.

"The United States supports the efforts of the democratically elected government of Lebanon as it expands its sovereignty over all its territory . . . particularly the [Security Council resolution] provisions regarding the disbanding and disarming of the militias," Wolff said.  (See related article.)

In its statement, the Security Council also expressed concern about unverified reports that there have been illegal movements of arms into Lebanon, but welcomed Lebanon's initial steps to prevent such movements.

The full text of a news release on the December 12 discussion on Lebanon, including the text of Al-Bader's statement, is available on the United Nations Web site.

For more information on U.S. policies, see Lebanon Assistance.

(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

By Judy Aita
USINFO United Nations Correspondent

Source:DoD