US calls on Syria, Iran to stop arming Hizbullah
Syria-Iran-USA, Politics, 8/22/2006
The United States said it is deeply concerned about the fragile peace in Lebanon, and called on Syria and Iran to cut Hizbullah's weapons supply.
US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said August 22 that in order to have peace in Lebanon, Hizbullah must stop operating as a state within a state, which is now made possible by support from Syria and Iran. The Security Council must address the situation, he said, or face renewed fighting in the region.
The backing by Damascus and Tehran of Hizbullah "in the form of financing, training, and supply of armaments does not just perpetuate this crisis -- it sustains it. Cutting off these supply lines, as mandated in (Resolution) 1701, is a matter that can no longer be ignored," Bolton said during a Security Council debate on the Middle East.
"The United States calls upon Iran and Syria to comply immediately with Resolution 1701," the ambassador said.
Resolution 1701, which was passed by the Security Council on August 11, established the cease-fire between Israel and Hizbullah, expanded the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to assist the Lebanese army in gaining control of southern Lebanon and imposed a total arms embargo on all weapons going into Lebanon except those for use by the government of Lebanon.
Bolton warned that it is both "impossible and dangerous" to attempt to address the causes of the recent fighting without dealing with Hizbullah's arms suppliers.
"If the international community applies only a temporary band-aid solution to the problem and allows Hizbullah to regroup and re-arm, then the suffering of the people of Lebanon and Israel may very well intensify in the near future," he said.
Bolton said that the United States is concerned with the attitude of Syria and Iran in this crisis, "states whose leaders have both respectively called for the destruction of Israel in recent days."
Bolton stated that Israel's one military operation since implementation of the cease-fire was directed at arms shipments in the Bekaa Valley headed for Hizbullah from Iran and Syria. Such arms shipments are prohibited by the embargo established under Resolution 1701.
"All states must comply with their obligation to observe this embargo, which, if not strictly observed, will significantly enhance the risk of further hostilities. This burden of abiding by the arms embargo, and the world's attention, falls especially on Syria and Iran," the ambassador said.
During his August 21 press conference President Bush said that the United States is considering a new UN resolution on UNIFIL's mandate that could include disarming Hizbullah, an issue that was not specifically addressed in Resolution 1701.
Resolution 1701 specifically says that the council would consider changes and enhancements to an expanded UNIFIL, Bolton said August 21. "So the question of dealing with Hizbullah -- or whether they deal with themselves by becoming a real political party instead of a terrorist group -- is obviously on the agenda."
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