Annan Arrives in Israel for Lebanon Border Talks

Published June 21st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan arrived in Israel on Wednesday and met foreign minister, David Levy, to discuss ways to stabilize the Israel-Lebanon border following last month's Israeli troop withdrawal, reported Reuters.  

Levy said at the start of the meeting that Israel was eager to cooperate with the United Nations.  

"We will work according to the maps shown to us which we worked on with UN experts," he said.  

"Cooperation with the UN is very important," he said.  

Annan was due to hold talks with prime minister Ehud Barak later on Wednesday.  

Last week, the United Nations verified that the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon had been fully implemented.  

The Lebanese government alleges that Israel is still occupying Lebanese land and has threatened to block UN plans to deploy its peacekeepers in areas vacated by Israel, said the agency.  

Before leaving Beirut on Tuesday, Annan said Israel had met the main conditions of long-standing UN resolutions demanding that it leave Lebanon.  

He said the United Nations would deal with any Israeli violations across the line the United Nations had drawn to demarcate the Israel-Lebanon border.  

Barak's office issued a statement at the start of Annan's visit saying Israel hoped he would meet representatives from Ghajar village, which has been divided in two by the UN demarcation, said Reuters.  

As the demarcation lines stand, part of the village is now in Lebanon, with the rest in the Golan Heights, demanded by Syria and occupied by Israel.  

The Israeli statement said it hoped Annan would also meet families of Israeli soldiers still missing in action in Lebanon. 

Quoting an official source, Haaretz newspaper said that Barak will tell Annan that in pulling its soldiers back to the international border, Israel has done its part in fulfilling Security Council Resolution 425. 

The source added that "Syria and Lebanon must now do their part to guarantee calm on the border and to re-establish Lebanese sovereignty in the south." 

Annan is scheduled to visit Syria later in the week as part of a mission that has included Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, according to the agency - (Several Sources) 



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