UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council called Tuesday for the disarming of Hezbollah and other militias in Lebanon along with greater progress toward a cease-fire and a solution to the conflict between Lebanon and Israel.
A statement adopted by consensus by the 15-member council reiterates its commitment "to the full implementation of all provisions of Resolution 1701" which ended the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in August 2006.
That resolution reiterates a call for the disarming of all militias and bans arms transfers to them. It calls on the government to secure its borders and entry points "to prevent the entry into Lebanon without its consent of arms or related material."
It also calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent cease-fire and long-term solution based on full respect for the U.N.-drawn Blue Line along their border, security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, and the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon so "there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state."
The statement noted the progress and concerns expressed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his latest report on the issue. Ban highlighted in March that Israel says Hezbollah is rearming and has an arsenal that includes 10,000 long-range rockets and 20,000 short-range rockets in southern Lebanon.
The report did not confirm Israel's claim, but Ban reiterated his concern about Hezbollah's public statements and persistent reports pointing to breaches of a U.N. arms embargo. He also expressed concern at "the threats of open war against Israel" by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
In a report in late October, Ban drew attention to alleged breaches of the arms embargo and the transfer of sophisticated weapons from Iran and Syria — both strong backers of Hezbollah — across the Lebanon-Syria border. Syria disputed the claim.
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said negotiations on the "good, acceptable" statement took time because it involved different countries inside and outside the Security Council
"With regard to the implementation, I think there are pluses and minuses there," he said. "We would like to see more progress on disarming militias."