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UN Security Council calls on Syria to comply with Lebanon
Presidential statement calls on Lebanon to disband militias, indicates wide international support for Lebanese sovereignty.
The UN Security Council on Monday urged Syria to comply with a 2004 resolution requiring the full withdrawal of its troops and intelligence operatives from Lebanon, noting the disarmament of militias is not being met.
A presidential statement unanimously passed by the Security Council regarding UN Resolution 1559 commended the efforts of Lebanon to meet the demands of Resolution 1559.
But the Security Council "also notes with regret that other provisions of resolution 1559 have yet to be implemented, particularly the disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias," the statement read.
"This is a clear, unanimous signal from the Security Council of what Syria still has to do. I hope in Damascus they read it very carefully and then comply with Resolution 1559," said John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the UN.
Syria pulled its troops from Lebanon after mass protests there and U.S.-led international pressure followed the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri last February.
A UN investigation implicated Syrian officials in the Beirut truck bombing that killed Hariri and 20 others.
Terje Roed-Larsen, the U.N.'s special envoy on Syria and Lebanon, said Monday the presidential statement indicated wide international support for the sovereignty of Lebanon.
"The broad international community ... is supporting the disbanding of these militias, which are a danger to the stability of Lebanon," Roed-Larsen said.
He highlighted the need for all parties involved in the Syria-Lebanon issue to respect the will of the international community.
"This is a very dangerous time for Lebanon and a very dangerous time for the region. The best way to stabilize the situation is to respect the decisions of the Security Council," Roed-Larsen said.