UN official warns of slow process of government formation in Lebanon

14:18, March 30, 2011      

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A UN official on Tuesday warned of the slow process of government formation in Lebanon, adding that it may hinder full implementation of UN Resolution 1701 with Israel.

"Inevitably, a deepening political polarization in Lebanon has affected implementation of 1701," UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams told reporters following a briefing to the UN Security Council.

Adopted by the 15-member Council in 2006, resolution 1701 requires Israel and Lebanon to meet key obligations in order to sustain the end of hostilities. It includes provisions that call for respect of the dividing "Blue Line" that divides both sides, the disarmament of militias operating in Lebanon, and an end to arms smuggling in the area.

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government was toppled on January 12, after a political impasse over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon--charged with investigating the death of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri's 2005 assassination.

"We look forward to the early formation of a government which will help address the priorities of the Lebanese people, both in terms of political and security stability, but also in terms of their social and economic requirements," said Williams.

"We need to see more progress toward full implementation of resolution 1701," he added.

Meanwhile, Williams reiterated a call on Israel to cease "its almost daily violations of Lebanese airspace," but noted that "on the Blue Line itself, the cessation of hostilities continues to hold."

Source: Xinhua
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