UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny)
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon demanded on Friday the
disarmament of the anti-Israel Lebanese Hezbollah movement, which had
said his visit to Lebanon was not welcome.
"I am deeply concerned
about the military capacity of Hezbollah and ... the lack of progress
in disarmament," he told a news conference after meeting Lebanese
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is why we discussed this matter very seriously and I strongly
encouraged President (Michel) Suleiman to initiate a convening of this
national dialogue to address these issues...All these arms outside of
the authorized state authority, it's not acceptable," Ban declared.
According to Lebanon's English-language The Daily Star
Ban also condemned Israel Friday for "repeated violations of Lebanon's
sovereignty" which he described as a "threat to the United Nation's
Interim Force in Lebanon."
According to the report, Ban told
Mikati during a meeting Friday that he would discuss the matter with
Israeli officials during his impending visit to Israel, and highlighted
the importance of Israeli withdrawal from Ghajar.
Makiti reportedly told Ban that Israel disrupts UNFIL's work with its "aggressive practices" and "presence of spy networks."
does not give any weight to the will of the international community and
acts on the basis that it is an exception and international resolutions
do not apply to it,” The Daily Star
quoted Mikati as saying in the meeting.Ban also said Friday
- to media accompanying him on his trip to Lebanon - that any killing like that of an Iranian nuclear scientist
in Tehran earlier this week was to be condemned, according to a UN spokesman.
secretary-general's trip to Lebanon made waves even before he arrived,
with one Hezbollah leader saying he was not welcome, a stance criticized
by Lebanese politicians opposed to the armed Shi'ite Islamist movement
and its Syrian and Iranian patrons.
Hezbollah accepted an
expansion of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the south after
its devastating 2006 war with Israel, but rejects a UN Security Council
resolution that demands that it lay down its military arsenal, as all
other Lebanese armed groups did after the 1975-90 civil war.
troops came under three attacks last year in which Italian and French
soldiers were wounded. A rocket was launched into Israel in November and
another rocket launching was attempted last month. No group claimed
"There are no explicit fears that there is a new
climate of hostility to the United Nations," a diplomatic source said.
"But there is concern, which the secretary-general will emphasize, over
the attacks (on UNIFIL) in May, July and December."