UN Security Council calls for withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon
Lebanon-UN, Politics, 9/4/2004
The UN Security Council approved a resolution presented by France, Germany, Britain, and the US, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the Lebanese territories.
The resolution which was originally sponsored by the US was issued by a 9-vote majority, while China, Algeria, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil and Philippines abstained.
The UNSC called for disbanding the Lebanese militias and disarming their elements, supporting the Lebanese government imposing its sovereignty over all territories.
The council announced its support for holding free and fair presidential elections that could be held according to the Lebanese constitution without any foreign interference.
The resolution asked all the parties concerned to fully cooperate and immediately respond to the UNSC resolution and all relevant resolutions so that Lebanon can restore its regional safety, sovereignty and political independence.
The resolution, approved at the UNSC session late Thursday, asked UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to present a report within 30 days as regards the parties' implementation of the resolution.
Voting over the resolution started after the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration delivered his statement at the session which he finished by demanding the UNSC to freeze such resolution as he affirmed that Lebanon does not see any justification for such resolution as he affirmed that Lebanon does not see any justification for such resolution which implies an interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state and a founding member of the UN.
The minister expressed his country's appreciation for the US, Britain and France showing care for Lebanon's interests. However, he said that it is Israel that is posing a threat to the, Lebanese political independence and continues attacking its land, sea and territorial waters.
He affirmed that the strength of the Lebanese resistance forced the Israelis out of Al-Bekaa and that Israel is still occupying parts of the Lebanese territories.
The Lebanese Minister as well rejected the resolution's reference to the presence of Lebanese militias.
He said that Lebanon has no Militias, but it is a resistance force and it would remain along with the Lebanese national troops as long as Israel occupies the Lebanese territories.
As regards the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon, the Lebanese minister said that the measure came upon an agreement between the two states to help maintain stability in the border areas in light of the recurrent Israeli threats to the Lebanese sovereignty.
Concerning the Lebanese presidential elections, the Minister said it is a domestic issue and the UNSC has no right to interfere.
He argued that the UNSC has never before discussed similar matters with any country and that the election of the President is to be held at the parliament whose members are chosen in free elections, asking for the UNSC to drop the draft resolution.
Immediately following such comments, the UNSC started the voting process, neglecting the demand of the Lebanese representative.
The resolution was issued after an agreement among its sponsors on not mentioning Syria by name as the draft presented by the US was including Syria, the only country that has troops in Lebanon.
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