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Deployment Of Lebanese Troops


Lebanese troops are being deployed south of the Litani river. They, along with United Nations peacekeepers, are moving in as Israeli troops withdraw.

The deployment is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution one-seven-zero-one that called for a cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah terrorists and Israeli forces in Lebanon. The resolution also states that there should be no independent armed groups in Lebanon outside of government security forces.

"This resolution," says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "clearly lays out the political principles to secure a lasting peace: no foreign forces, no weapons and no authority in Lebanon other than that of the sovereign Lebanese government." Ms. Rice says that "[T]he disarmament of militias is essentially a political agreement and the Lebanese government has said that it intends to live up to its obligations under [U-N] resolution fifteen-fifty-nine and. . . .the Taif Accords, which was signed in 1989 in Saudi Arabia."

U-N Security Council resolution fifteen-fifty-nine was adopted in 2004. The Taif Accords ended Lebanon's fifteen-year civil war. Both called for the disarming of Lebanese militias. But Hezbollah has refused to disarm. "Now," says Ms. Rice, "we will see whether Hezbollah. . . .is prepared to live up to those international obligations. We will see," she says, "who is for peace and who isn't":

"Since the conflict began we have sought an immediate end to the fighting. But we have also insisted that a durable ceasefire requires a decisive change from the status quo that produced this war."

Secretary of State Rice says, "Resolution seventeen-zero-one is a victory for all who are committed to moderation and democracy in the Middle East and a defeat for those who wish to undermine principles with violence."

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

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