VARIOUS: LEBANON'S PRIME MINISTER NAJIB MIQATI TELLS UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN THAT...
- Title: VARIOUS: LEBANON'S PRIME MINISTER NAJIB MIQATI TELLS UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN THAT SECURITY COUNCIL SHOULD NOT INTERFERE OVER PRESENCE OF HIZBOLLAH IN LEBANON
- Date: 7th May 2005
- Summary: (BN15) UNITED NATIONS (FILE) (REUTERS) REPORTER WRITING ON NOTEPAD
- Reuters ID: LVABLGVSPT006DC4N7HJ7K318R7U
- Location: UNITED NATIONS / SHTOURA TOWN RIYYAK ARMY BASE, BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Duration: 00:00:04
- Topics: International Relations
- Story Text: Lebanon's Prime Minister tells UN chief Kofi Annan that the Security Council should not interfere over presence of Hizbollah in Lebanon.
Lebanon's new Prime Minister, Najob Miqati met with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York on Friday (May 6) to discuss the Syrian troop withdrawal from Lebanon and upcoming elections.
Miqati said that while Beirut welcomes the U.N's involvement in investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and U.N. in help in monitoring the election, Lebanon is not happy with Security Council interference over the presence of Hizbollah on Lebanese soil.
The Security Council is demanding that resolution 1559, passed in September 2004, be implemented in full. Earlier this week the council praised the Syrian pull-out from Lebanon, but it said more needs to be done, particularly in disarming both Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia operating in Lebanon.
But Lebanon says Hizbollah should not be classed as militia - and argue that this is an internal matter and not up for Security Council interference.
"We insist that the solution for Hizbollah arms will mainly come as a result of Lebanese nationwide dialogue,"
Miqati told reporters after the meeting.
Annan had pressed Beirut earlier this week to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of a U.N. team trying to verify Syria's withdrawal from Lebanese soil after guerrillas barred the team from entering their base.
Syrian-backed Palestinian guerrillas fired shots into the air after preventing the team from entering a base in eastern Lebanon, Lebanese security sources said.
The U.N. verification team was visiting former Syrian outposts in the Bekaa Valley to check whether Damascus had fully withdrawn its military and intelligence forces, in line with resolution 1559
"We told the Secretary-General we are very happy for the United Nations investigation team to examine the Syrian withdrawal," said Miqati.
While Miqati was in New York, bomb exploded in a Christian port town north of Beirut on Friday killing one Sri Lankan woman, wounding six people and damaging shops and houses, a security source said.
The explosion, the fifth to target the country's Christian heartland in two months, came on the eve of the return of anti-Syrian opposition leader Michel Aoun to Lebanon from 15 years of exile.
Miqati said he was given a few details before his meeting with Annan, but has not heard yet that the explosion caused one fatality.
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