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U.N. On Arms Into Lebanon

According to a United Nations report, Lebanon is facing an "increasing influx of weaponry and personnel from Syria" to Palestinian terrorist groups. According to the U.S. State Department, the Syrian government provides political and material support to the Hezbollah terrorist group and to Palestinian terrorist groups, including HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.

The U.N. report states that Lebanon has not achieved "tangible results" in disarming the Palestinian groups or Hezbollah, or in exerting full control over its territory despite the withdrawal of Syrian troops. The situation remains "volatile," the report states, citing "a number of worrying developments affecting the stability of Lebanon, particularly in the form of terrorist acts and the illegal transfer of arms and people across the borders."

The latest report on Syrian interference in Lebanon follows a report by a United Nations Security Council special investigator, which concluded that the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was plotted by top-ranking Lebanese and Syrian intelligence officers, including the brother-in-law of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the United States is concerned about reports that weapons are flowing from Syria into Lebanon. This, he said, would violate United Nations Resolution Fifteen-Fifty-Nine, which calls for the disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias:

"The world would be very concerned about any continuing attempts on the part of Syria to try to influence the situation in Lebanon - the political situation, the security situation or otherwise. That's very clear in Resolution Fifteen-Fifty-Nine."

President George W. Bush says that Syria is "destabilizing Lebanon, permitting terrorists to use its territory to reach Iraq, and giving safe harbor to Palestinian terrorist groups.” Syria and its leaders, he said, must be held accountable for their continuing support for terrorism.

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.