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Home >> World
UPDATED: 17:52, June 09, 2006
Lebanese PM rules out Israeli role in resolving Shebaa farms dispute
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Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has said that the Shebaa farms dispute would be resolved between "Syria and Lebanon only, excluding Israel," The Daily Star reported on Friday.

"The case is to be discussed without involving Israel, despite it being the occupying force in the farms," Siniora was quoted as saying on Thursday.

As for a letter sent by UN chief Kofi Annan, Siniora said that "the letter was important in clarifying that the case is limited to Syria and Lebanon and needs to be agreed upon by these two sides only."

Annan said in the letter sent to Siniora that sovereignty transfer of the disputed Shebaa Farms to Lebanon needs a border delineation agreement between Lebanon and Syria.

"There now appears to be a will" by Lebanon and Syria to establish the ownership of the Shebaa farms as Lebanese, Annan said.

He said, "The most direct and effective method of transferring sovereignty of the Shebaa farmlands from Syria to Lebanon would be for the governments of Lebanon and Syria" to conclude "an agreement that reflects the consensus that appears to exist between your governments."

The disputed territory lies in the mountainous border region between Lebanon, Syria and Israel.

Israel captured the farms when it seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

When the Israeli army pulled out of southern Lebanon in 2000, UN cartographers determined that Shebaa was part of Syria.

Source: Xinhua

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