Syria raises concern to Security Council over latest UN report

July 15, 2010 10:01 am 

UNITED NATIONS, July 15 — Syria on Wednesday circulated a letter to the UN Security Council, raising concerns over the UN's role with Syrian-Lebanese relations, citing their continued attempt to "interfere" in the heels of the newest report on the region.

The letter, which was delivered by Syrian UN ambassador Bashar Ja'afari and dated July 7, comes in response to UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon's latest report, which called upon Syria to " cooperate" with such efforts with Lebanon to dismantle the Palestinian military bases that "straddle" the border of the two regions.

Ban's report "continues the attempt to interfere in the development of Syrian-Lebanese relations," said the letter, taking note that "continued interference" in the countries'bilateral relations would be "reprehensible."

Syria and Lebanon "alone have the right to assess the state of those relations," the letter said, which was addressed to Ban and to the current president of the Security Council, Uche Joy Ogwu, the Nigerian UN ambassador who holds the rotating Council presidency for July.

"The Syrian Arab Republic reiterates that the question of Palestinian positions inside Lebanon is a bilateral issue that concerns the Palestinians and Lebanese alone," the letter said.

"The Syrian Arab Republic has nothing to do with the matter," said the letter, reiterating the "competence" of the Lebanese government. The letter further emphasized that the role of the United Nations should be to create "conditions that are conducive to positive relations between states."

In his report to the Security Council, which was released here on Tuesday, Ban said that not enough progress has been made by Israel and Lebanon on key obligations under the Security Council resolution that ended the hostilities of 2006.

He noted with "concern" of the military bases in Lebanon, as well as the "threat that they pose to Lebanon's sovereignty."

"The military bases are beyond the control of the state and, with the exception of Naame, near Beirut, straddle the border between Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, posing an added challenge to Lebanon's control of the border," Ban said in his report.

According to Lebanese officials, the cooperation of the Syrian government in the efforts to dismantle the bases is "still nascent and requires further development," Ban said in his report.

"I am confident that progress will be made in this respect in coming months," Ban said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss Ban's report.

Emerging from the consultations, UN special coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said the UN welcomes the "highly significant" relations between Lebanon and Syria. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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