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        Security Council
11 January 2006

Original: Arabic

Letter dated 9 January 2006 from the Chargé d’affaires
a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the
United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the honour to inform you that the Government of Lebanon is requesting the Security Council to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which ends on 31 July 2006, for a new period of six months, in accordance with the provisions of Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) dated 19 March 1978.

In this regard, the Government of Lebanon wishes to reaffirm the following:

1. The situation prevailing in the region makes it necessary to maintain the presence of UNIFIL and to extend its mandate, to the extent that Israel persists in undermining the provisions of resolution 425 (1978) which demands respect for the sovereignty of Lebanon and the establishment of international peace and security in the region, continues its violations of Lebanese airspace and threatens the security and integrity of Lebanon, despite your repeated appeals that it cease these violations, which the Security Council has described as persistent in its resolution 1614 (2005).

2. Considering the situation prevailing in the region, and as you indicated in paragraph 39 of your report (S/2005/460) dated 21 July 2005, it is even more necessary to maintain UNIFIL without change to either its mandate or its strength, as an essential aspect of this mandate as defined in paragraph 3 of resolution 425 (1978), the restoration of international peace and security in the region, has not yet been realized.

3. The Government of Lebanon is continuing the efforts it has undertaken to reinforce its authority in the south and for the economic, social and political revitalization and development of the region. It reaffirms its firm intention to preserve the security of the southern region where the Lebanese security forces continue to reinforce their presence in order to prevent acts undermining security, and, to that end, it coordinates its activities with UNIFIL and your Personal Representative for Lebanon.

4. The Government of Lebanon highly appreciates the contribution of UNIFIL to the de-mining operations intended to neutralize the hundreds of thousands of mines left by Israel on Lebanese territory, which have claimed dozens of victims, hinder freedom of movement of members of UNIFIL and prevent the restoration of vast portions of the territory. On this subject, Lebanon requests the Security Council to demand that Israel hand over the remaining maps showing the location of the mines which the Israeli army left on Lebanese territory.

5.5. The Government of Lebanon appreciates the sacrifices made by members of UNIFIL and thanks the States that have contributed troops to this Force. Moreover, it reaffirms its commitment to the Middle East peace process, whose goal is to establish a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region, based on the relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the principle of “land for peace” and the Arab peace initiative adopted in Beirut in March 2002.

I should be grateful if this letter could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Ibrahim Assaf
Chargé d’affaires a.i.


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