UN Envoy: Peace in Lebanon Depends on all Sides
UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said Monday that peace in southern Lebanon would depend on the restraint of all countries concerned.
Roed-Larsen spoke in Amman, where he met Monday with Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah Khatib. The envoy came to Jordan after visiting Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
Roed-Larsen said the United Nations' ability to ensure peace would depend on "members of states."
"We will work hard with relevant concerned parties in the region and beyond in order to (ensure peace), so we have very exciting weeks ahead of us," Roed-Larsen said before meeting with Khatib.
In response to a question, Roed-Larsen said he was worried about Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, which is planned for July with or without an agreement with Damascus or Beirut and in the face of continued hostility from guerrilla groups.
"We have asked all parties to show restraint in the difficult situation that we are in now," he said. "If we get cooperation necessary from both parties, the government of Israel and the government of Lebanon, I'm pretty confident."
Roed-Larsen said Saturday in Damascus that Syria, has agreed to cooperate with the United Nations over the Israeli pullout.
However, the head of the South Lebanon Army, Israel's client militia in South Lebanon warned that another war could break out in south Lebanon after Israel's withdrawal unless the Beirut government granted amnesty to all members of his 2,500-strong force.
General Antoine Lahd, who is under a death sentence for treason passed by a Lebanese court, said on Monday the population of Israeli-occupied south Lebanon had either to emigrate, submit to Lebanese laws as collaborators or fight when the Israelis left.
In a statement directed at Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Lahd said most preferred the last option: “To carry arms to defend themselves from emigration, prison, humiliation and reproach.” – (Agencies)
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