'Arms smuggling could threaten Lebanon cease-fire'

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March 31, 2007 19:26

The UN chief warned Saturday that arms smuggling from Syria could threaten the cease-fire in Lebanon and urged full compliance with a UN resolution that ended the summer war between Hizbullah and Israel. Noting allegations that the arms embargo on Hizbullah was not being enforced, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Friday with Lebanese security chiefs during his two-day visit to Lebanon to discuss ways of enhancing the Lebanese army's monitoring capabilities of the along border with Syria, one of Hizbullah's principal patrons. The leading Lebanese daily An-Nahar reported Saturday that Ban told the Lebanese security chiefs that Israel had provided him with "evidence and pictures" of trucks crossing from Syria to Lebanon and unloading weapons. "There are intelligence reports that arms are smuggled. I am concerned by that kind of arms smuggling, which will destabilize the situation in Lebanon," he told reporters during a stop at the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. Ban urged all sides to obey the UN resolution and expressed the need for "an enhanced monitoring capacity of the Lebanese armed forces to ensure that there will be no such smuggling activity."


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