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The continued presence of Hezbollah and Palestinian militants in Lebanon poses a serious threat to the government in Beirut aand to regional stability, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned in his recently released six-month report.

Ban demanded in his report the implementation of UN Resolution 1559, which calls for the disbanding of all militias, and called for the militant groups to be disarmed.

"The existence and activities of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias? continue to pose a threat to the stability of the country," Ban said. "The presence of weapons in the country outside government control and the continued existence of militias contribute to tensions and insecurity in Lebanon and beyond, and could eventually lead to the resumption of hostilities unless immediately addressed," he warned.

Ban wrote that he viewed with seriousness recent reports "of a proliferation of extremist groups activities and of arms in Lebanon" and said that Hezbollah "poses first and foremost a key challenge to the safety of Lebanese civilians, and to the government's monopoly on the legitimate use of force."

"I call on the leaders of Hezbollah to complete the transformation of the group into a solely Lebanese political party," Ban said. "Regional parties that maintain close ties with Hezbollah must encourage it in the same direction.