UN Middle East Envoy due in Lebanon to Review Border Question

Published July 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy for the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, will arrive in Beirut at the beginning of this week to review the issue of Israeli encroachments on Lebanese territory, a government official said Sunday. 

Annan telephoned Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and told him that, "at the beginning of the week he was going to dispatch Roed-Larsen to Beirut with a team of technicians to deal with the problem of violations of the international border," said an official in Lahoud's office. 

The United Nations chief had promised Lahoud on Tuesday that he would resolve the problem of encroachments within three days, and would send radar and helicopters to monitor any Israeli violation of Lebanese territory, be it aerial, terrestrial or maritime. 

The presidential aide Sunday also said the United Nations chief told Lahoud that the UN would convene a meeting of donor countries this month to decide on urgently required aid in the south of Lebanon, which was occupied by Israel for 22 years until its troops withdrew. 

Another meeting will be held in September to discuss medium- and long-term aid projects for Lebanon. 

On Friday, Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Hoss called on ambassadors of the Group of Seven wealthy nations to seek support for a conference here to raise money for reconstruction of southern Lebanon. 

A week earlier, Lebanon approved a 1.2 billion dollar five-year plan to restore and develop southern Lebanon following the end of Israeli military occupation. 

Only 45 million dollars are immediately available, and the government will put the plan into effect in three stages, covering projects requiring immediate, medium-term or long-term implementation. 

Beirut is also looking to Arab and international development funds, but foreign grants or loans for southern Lebanon so far do not exceed 177 million dollars - BEIRUT (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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