UN Team to Inspect Syrian-Lebanese Border for Smuggling

The United Nations Security Council decided Monday to dispatch a special experts' team to investigate claims that weapons were being smuggled to Hezbollah militants in Southern Lebanon through the border with Syria.

The council announced its decision in an official statement. The security council announced that it welcomed the UN secretary general's intention to inspect the current situation along the entire border. In the document, the council called on him to dispatch as soon as possible an independent delegation that will conduct an extensive investigation regarding the monitoring of traffic across the border.

The statement represents a shift in the council's approach to the issue. Last December, the council maintained that there had been no proof verifying suspicions that arms were being smuggled to Hezbollah.

The council went on to request that the delegation be dispatched in the near future, so it can relay its findings on the Syrian-Lebanese border and its recommendations to prevent the smuggling of arms as soon as possible.

Additionally, the statement contains a clause dedicated to expressing the council's concern over the fact that no progress was being made for the release of the two Israel Defense Forces soldiers abducted by Hezbollah last July, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. The council reiterated its demand that the two soldiers be released immediately and unconditionally.

Security Council president, U.K. Ambassador to the UN Sir Emyr Jones Parry, cited declarations by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah that his organization was rearming. He expressed his deep concern regarding these statements, adding that they constituted a clear confirmation of violations to UN resolution 1701, prohibiting all armed militias from operating in Lebanon.