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U.N. On Syria And Lebanon

The United Nations Security Council has issued a statement calling on Syria and Lebanon to comply with Resolution Fifteen-Fifty-Nine. That resolution affirms the Security Council’s support for Lebanon’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence.

The U-N Security Council said that significant progress had been made toward implementing Resolution Fifteen-Fifty-Nine, including the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and the holding of free and credible parliamentary elections in Lebanon. The statement commended the Lebanese government's measures to control the movement of arms and people into Lebanese territory, but noted the Syrian government had yet to undertake similar measures.

Other provisions of Resolution Fifteen-Fifty-Nine have yet to be implemented. Among these are "the disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory and free and fair presidential elections conducted according to the Lebanese constitutional rules without foreign interference and influence.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said the Security Council's statement is "a clear delineation of Syria's failure to comply with many significant aspects" of Resolution Fifteen Fifty-Nine and a "clear, unanimous signal from the Security Council on what Syria still has to do." U-S State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says that Syria has failed to live up to its international obligations:

“We would urge the Syrian regime to change its behavior, to comply with U-N Security Council resolutions, and also to comply with the wishes of fellow leaders in the region. One example is [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas. President Abbas has asked [Syrian] President [Bashar] Assad to close down the offices of those Palestinian rejectionist groups headquartered in Damascus. He hasn't done so. As a matter of fact, he's done just the opposite. He hosted the Iranian President[Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] -- or allowed the Iranian president to have a meeting with him in Damascus. So, not only does this contravene the requests of the international community as well as the U-N Security Council, but it also goes against the wishes of a fellow leader in the region.”

The Syrian government, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, is “completely out of step with where the rest of the region and the world is headed.”

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