01/24/2006, 00.00
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The United Nations asks for the disarmament of Hezbollah

Lebanon must have sovereignty over its' territory and Syria must collaborate.  "Regret" expressed for the lack of organization during presidential elections in Beirut.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Lebanon must execute UN resolution 1559,  which provides for the disarmament of all militias present on the territory, both "Lebanese and foreign" and to this end Syria must collaborate.   The unanimous decision,  passed by the Security Council yesterday evening, was made public in a statement by the council president.  It reopens the question of disarming the Hezbollah, the militant Shiite group linked to Syria and Iran,  which has persisted in its refusal to conform to the UN resolution 1559 adopted over 16 months ago.  The UN is calling for collaboration from Damascus in achieving its declared objective, that is;  full restoration of power  to the government of Beirut over "all of its' territories", including progress on the issues of border definition and the illegal passage of  weapons.  

In an interview with Orient Le jour, Terjé Roed-Larsen a representative of the UN secretary general addressed the issue: "It is time  – he said– to apply resolution 1559, which the Security Council takes very, very, seriously".

Yesterday's declaration speaks of  "achieving disarmament of the militia's through dialogue" excluding, at least for now, any formal request for recourse to the use of force.  Lebanonwire, moreover,  underlines that until now the Lebanese government has never requested Hezbollah to leave aside their weapons.

The article also refers to the question of the Lebanese presidency, noting with "regret" that a "free and fair" election of a new head of state has yet to be organised.   Currently the post is held by the pro Syrian Emile Lahoud, who in 2004 while the Syrian army was in Beirut, obtained the extension of his mandate by changing the constitution.

Tomorrow,  the Security Council will once again meet to discuss Lebanon, in particular the renewal of the Finul mission force mandate as well as  troop deployment along the borders.

All on the same day that Serge Brammertz officially assumes the post of head of the International Commission investigating the assassination of the ex Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri

Damascus has yet to react: The official news agency  Sana makes no reference to the UN decision, instead it focuses on Sunday's declaration by  Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary general, according to whom "Lebanon's Hezbollah party is the flag of resistance, of strength, of sacrifice and of freedom, and moreover who will prevent Israeli plans and stop Zionism in the region". News and comment are also to be found on the Iran's Irna agency.

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