The United Nations has urged Lebanon to continue discussions on a national Defense Strategy and to disarm all Lebanese and non-Lebanese factions.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, recalled at a news briefing in New York late Tuesday all UN Security Council resolutions that prompt the disarmament of “militias.”
“Security Council resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701 clearly call for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias."
He warned that “the maintenance of arms by Hezbollah and other groups outside the control of the state restricts [the country’s] ability to exercise its full sovereignty and authority over its territory,” quoting previous statements by the secretary-general.
He called on Lebanon to adhere to "all relevant resolutions [that are of] vital importance to Lebanon’s stability."
Remarks by President Michel Aoun over the weekend on Hezbollah’s arms caused an uproar from several local and foreign powers.
He said that Hezbollah’s military wing was a crucial part of Lebanon’s defenses and complements the Lebanese Army.
However, the president Monday stated that Hezbollah's arms were being discussed within "the tactical planning of Lebanon's defense strategy."
Hezbollah is a recognized political actor in the Lebanese government and one of the many parties who backed Aoun in his October 2016 election. However, the militarized component of the group continues to cause controversy, with several major Lebanese parties saying Hezbollah’s weapons are illegitimate and should be surrendered to the state.
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