Lebanon calls on Annan to stop projected U.N. resolution on Syrian withdrawal
The U.N. Security Council is expected to convene late this week to endorse a U.S.-French draft resolution calling on Syria to withdraw its army and intelligence apparatus from Lebanon, allow a free election of a new Lebanese president and discontinue its support of Hizbullah.
On its part, the Beirut government launched a diplomatic counteroffensive, Lebanese media reported Tuesday.
The U.S.-French initiative was conveyed to Lebanon last Friday by the Russian ambassador Andrey Denisov, who presided over the Security Council in August. He told Lebanon's deputy mission chief, Ibrahim Assaf that the initiative has not been presented as a resolution, yet. However, this could happen once Spain takes over the Council's Chairmanship September 1, according to As Safir.
On Saturday, Lebanese ambassador Sylvie Fadlallah was summoned to the French Foreign Ministry and told that Washington was preparing a draft resolution on Lebanon at the Security Council and that France will back it. Britain, Germany and Spain also were backing the draft.
Reacting to the international pressure, President Lahoud reportedly dispatched an urgent message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, seeking support to Lebanon against the projected resolution.
For his part, Foreign Minister Jean Obeid also messaged U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, seeking his intervention to stop the U.S.-French move. Similar messages were addressed to the chairman and all other 14 members of the Security Council. But if the resolution is finally introduced, the chances of veto by Russia or China are virtually zero. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)