Beirut Calls off Meeting with Larsen as Sign of Dissatisfaction with 'Verification'
Lebanese leaders canceled Tuesday a farewell meeting with UN envoy to the Middle East Terje Roed-Larsen amid apparent dissatisfaction with the so-called "withdrawal line" that the UN Middle East envoy has defined to verify that Israel's pullout complied with Security Council Resolution 425, reported the Daily Star.
Larsen had told a news conference that he would head back to Baabda palace in the evening after an earlier session in which he, along with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and prime minister Salim Hoss discussed the frontier that UN cartographers have defined based on some 80 maps in the possession of the UN.
But a government source said the "Presidential Palace saw no point in holding a second meeting after Larsen held a news conference in which he made statements that didn't reflect what was discussed at Baabda earlier," the daily said.
Larsen said that the government was handed maps defining the line to government officials three days ago, implying that Beirut had known about his final decision before his trip to Israel over the weekend.
The source insisted that this was not the case, and that Beirut had yet to receive this map.
During the meeting, Lahoud also told Larsen that they rejected references to a "withdrawal line" and wanted compliance with the internationally recognized border, added the daily.
The source said, however, that despite the disagreement, there would be "no confrontation" with the UN and that an official stand on the boundary defined by Larsen's team would be made public as soon as the maps are received and examined.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday that the UN demarcation of the northern border between Israel and Lebanon has cut a village in half.
Residents of the border village of Ghaja demonstrated Tuesday night, saying that they would die rather than have their village divided, said the daily.
The villagers say that they are really Syrian citizens.
The UN, meanwhile, has ordered Kibbutz Manara to pull back its kiosk, which lies on the border.
The peacekeepers say the kiosk's terrace lies in Lebanese territory, the Jerusalem Post added - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)