UN insists Hezbollah disarm, Hezbollah attacks Siniora government
Kofi Annan releases report saying that no state can tolerate armed groups on its territory. Security Council is scheduled to examine the document Friday.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Hezbollah remains the nodal point in Lebanon's predicament. As United Nations troops deploy, Secretary General Kofi Annan released last night a report confirming that Resolution 1701 requires Hezbollah's disarmament.

Earlier in the day Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, slammed Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on al-Jazeera for welcoming his British counterpart and Israel's "accomplice", Tony Blair, and demanded he resign in favour of a national unity government.

In response to a question about disarming his party's militia in accordance with the Tā'if Agreement, he said that the application of the accord is meant to build a state that is strong, just and equitable, and that his movement would deal with disarmament issue at a later date.

In the 14-page report, Kofi Annan described the current situation and his recent trip to the Middle East ahead of a Security Council meeting scheduled for Friday in which implementing Resolution 1701 will be discussed.

The report underscores the contribution of various countries to UNIFIL and the Lebanese army deployment in the south to replace existing armed groups.

"No state in the region or elsewhere would tolerate the existence of armed groups which challenge the state's monopoly on the legitimate use of force throughout its territory," Annan wrote. 

For the same reason he called for the complete cessation of Israeli overflights over Lebanon.

The UN chief said that his trip to the region had positive results, including commitments by Syria and Iran, especially Syria's pledge to take concrete measures to stop arms smuggling across its borders.

General Michel Sleiman, commander-in-chief of the Lebanese army, informed his counterpart in UNIFIL that some 8,000 Lebanese soldiers have been deployed along the border with Syria.

Mr Annan also said that "[o]ther crises cannot be ignored, especially in the occupied Palestinian territory," he noted. "Until the international community insists on a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, any one of these conflict has the potential to erupt and engulf the entire region."

On the disputed Shabaa Farms, Annan said he was studying a Lebanese proposal to put the territory under U.N. jurisdiction until the issue of Lebanese sovereignty over it and the delineation of the Lebanese-Syrian border are fully settled.