Magazine article UN Chronicle

Middle East

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Middle East

Article excerpt

Ending a week-long official visit to the Middle East on 23 June, Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged adherence to the "blue line"--the verified line of demarcation between Israel and Lebanon. His visit began on 16 June, immediately following his declaration that Israel had withdrawn from Lebanon in full compliance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which called upon Israel to withdraw its forces and cease its military action against Lebanon's territorial integrity. Mr. Annan said that Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon was an important "building block on the long way to peace", and he strongly believed that peace in the Middle East was a reachable goal.

In his report confirming the Israeli pull-out, the Secretary-General also informed the Council that the first reinforcement phase of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was under way. By mid-July, the Force would be expanded by almost a thousand troops, to a total of 5,600.

On 18 June, the Council endorsed the Secretary-General's report. It called on all parties to respect the line identified by the United Nations, exercise utmost restraint and cooperate with UNIFIL. The Council stressed that UNIFIL redeployment should be coordinated with the Lebanese Government. …

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