BEIRUT: Members of the United Nations Security Council called on Lebanese parties to “resume discussions towards a consensus on a National Defense Strategy,” in a statement released Wednesday morning.
The Security Council also lauded the Rome II conference in support of the Lebanese Army and security forces and welcomed the joint statement issued at the end of the meeting, which was held March 15.
“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to the stability, security, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon, in accordance with Security Council resolutions and expressed their support to the ongoing efforts of the Lebanese authorities to prepare the holding of legislative elections of 6 May 2018 in accordance with international standards,” the statement read.
But the U.N. body also recalled previous UNSC Resolutions 1559, 1680, 1701 and 2373, which include provisions for there to be no authority or weapons in Lebanon other than those of the Lebanese state. Other provisions stipulate that no foreign forces should be in Lebanon without the consent of the government.
Additionally, the UNSC “urged all Lebanese parties to implement and further expand without delay a tangible policy of disassociation as a matter of priority, to shield Lebanon from regional conflicts and to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other states, as spelled out in previous declarations, in particular the 2012 Baabda Declaration.”
During the Rome II conference a concept for a new UNIFIL Model Regiment was proposed, in line with increased cooperation between the Army and UNIFIL.
The UNSC “noted the recent redeployment of additional LAF personnel to the area south of the Litani River, and called on the Government of Lebanon to accelerate effective and durable deployments to the South.”
The members of the Security Council noted the international community’s sustained commitment to supporting Lebanon’s political, social and economic stability, security and sovereignty.
The statement also noted that the UNSC “took note” of the upcoming CEDRE conference to be held in Paris, April 6, which is intended to boost economic assistance to Lebanon. It also noted “the Brussels meeting of 25 April 2018 to support host communities and refugees in Lebanon.”