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|Thursday, June 22, 2000, updated at 11:02(GMT+8)|
U.N. to Continue Pushing Mideast Peace Process Forward: AnnanThe United Nations will continue pushing the Middle East peace process forward and work together with countries in the region to implement the Security Council Resolutions, said visiting U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Wednesday.
Talking to reporters after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Annan said,"We will continue the efforts to implement the resolutions 242 and 338...and work together with the international community to push the peace process forward based on the formula of land for peace."
"We set for peace and work for peace and hope all countries in he region will work together for peace," Annan said.
Annan also urged Israel and the Palestinians to make compromise to be able to move the israeli-Palestinian track ahead.
Talking about the purpose of his visit to Lebanon early this week, Annan said he had discussed with the Lebanese leaders about the U.N. verification of Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon, the expansion of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the presence of Lebanese government troops in south Lebanon.
Annan had also met leaders of former Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah and asked them to cooperate fully with the UNIFIL to maintain peace in south Lebanon.
Annan arrived here Wednesday from Jordan for a two-day visit. He is scheduled to hold talks in the West Bank city of Ramallah with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Thursday before going to Syria to continue his Middle East trip.
Annan discussed with Barak about Israel's withdrawal from South Lebanon and ways of stabilizing the Israeli-Lebanese border following the withdrawal.
During the meeting, Barak told Annan that in pulling Israeli troops back to the international border, Israel has done its part in fulfilling the U.N. Security Council Resolution 425, and that Syria and Lebanon must now do their part to guarantee calm on the Israeli-Lebanese border and to re-establish Lebanese sovereignty in south Lebanon, a senior Israeli official said.
Barak also brought up several complaints about the U.N. demarcation of the border line and particularly he demanded that the village of Rajar not be divided, the official added.
Rajar village is located on the border with half of the village on each side of the border.
Meanwhile, the prime minister also asked Annan to speed up the process of sending more U.N. peacekeeping forces into south Lebanon, the official said.
Israel completed its withdrawal from south Lebanon on May 24, ending its 22-year military occupation there.
Following the withdrawal, the U.N. experts started immediately mapping the border line and till now only a number of points determined by the U.N. mapping experts are opposed by both Lebanon and Israel.
The Rajar village on the border is a sensitive issue and the U. N. will consult with parties concerned to solve this problem, Annan said.
Barak said the Israeli government will continue its efforts to move the peace process ahead although it is facing the coalition crisis.
Annan also met Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy earlier in the day and the two discussed the peace process and issues concerning Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon.
Annan has already visited Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.
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