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Guterres Condemns Hezbollah’s Continued Involvement in Syria, Yemen

Guterres Condemns Hezbollah’s Continued Involvement in Syria, Yemen

Thursday, 25 October, 2018 - 09:45
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. (DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)

In a recent report on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “deep concern” that Hezbollah militias still retain significant military capabilities beyond the control of the state and called on the Lebanese government to take all necessary measures to prevent the party from acquiring more weapons.

Guterres denounced Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria and Yemen, and called on Iran – without naming it - to encourage the transformation of the armed group into a purely civilian political party. He pointed out that with the approach of the issuance of verdicts in the case of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon would send a clear message that impunity would not be tolerated.

The Security Council is scheduled to hear a detailed briefing on this report on Tuesday.

Asharq Al-Awsat received a copy of Guterres’ report, which was prepared by UN Political Affairs Officer Aurelie Proust. The report said that nearly five months after Saad al-Hariri’s appointment as prime minister-designate, efforts continued to form a new government, stressing that all concerned parties must intensify their efforts to reach an agreement quickly.

“This is necessary to seize opportunities to promote the priorities set by Lebanon and the international community at high-level conferences earlier this year in Rome, Paris, and Brussels,” the report said.

The widespread proliferation of weapons outside the control of the state, with the presence of heavily armed militias, continues to undermine security and stability in Lebanon, according to Guterres.

“Hezbollah’s retention of large and sophisticated military capabilities outside the control of the Lebanese government remains a serious concern,” he added.

He also called on Hezbollah and all other parties not to engage in any military activity inside or outside Lebanon, in accordance with the provisions of the Taif Accord and Resolution 1559.

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