UN envoy demands disarmament of Hizbullah as Bush warns Lebanon leaders over vote delay
U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen on Monday discussed in Beirut the international body's demand for the disarmament of Lebanon's Hizbullah fighters, but reported no agreement.
Roed-Larsen met Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud on Monday and expressed optimism on the prospects of Damascus complying with Security Council demands for a full withdrawal.
"I have very good hopes that I can go back to New York and report to the secretary-general ... to prepare the report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559 for the Security Council in the middle of this month," he told reporters after meeting Hammoud.
In Washington, US President George W. Bush warned Lebanon's leaders against postponing polling and demanded Syrian troops and security forces fully withdraw from the country. "It's important for this election to take place on time,"Bush said according to Reuters, adding: "I appreciate the fact that Syria has expressed its intent to fully leave the country. Whenthey say 'We're going to leave,' we expect troops and securityforces to leave."
Washington demands a full Syrian withdrawal before parliamentary elections, which should be held before the May 31 expiration of the Lebanese legislature's mandate.