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The Syrian Arab Republic would like to reaffirm that it respects Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence.
The claim in paragraph 4 of the report that the new Lebanese Government was imposed by the Syrian Arab Republic is blatant interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon. Syria affirms that there is no basis whatsoever for this attack against the Lebanese Government. Any change in government is part of the democratic process in Lebanon, which is something that displeases the report’s authors.
With regard to paragraphs 6, 14 and 50, it is no longer acceptable to continue introducing Syria or its internal situation into the reports of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004) on the situation in Lebanon, because such matters are not within the mandate of his representative. It should be noted that not one Syrian soldier has entered Lebanese territory. The majority of the report’s information on Syria was taken from unreliable media sources, and the majority of what they publish is fabricated and directed against Syria. The mention of Syria in relation to the internal situation in Lebanon is part of the campaign against Syria, which has always sought to preserve Lebanon’s independence and sovereignty.
What the representative of the Secretary-General, who claims to be aware of everything, has turned a blind eye to is the smuggling of arms from Lebanon into Syria. Everyone is aware that there are certain parties in Lebanon which are seeking to destabilize Syria by providing armed terrorist groups in Syria with weapons and funds for the purpose of undermining Syria. The Lebanese and Syrian authorities have uncovered several smuggling operations, which the two sides have publicized through the official channels and in the media.
It is clear from paragraph 14 that the Secretary-General’s report misrepresents the facts and that Syria is being targeted in his reports on Lebanon. That paragraph refers to fictitious events and numbers, making claims that not even the media and those who fabricate claims against Syria have published, whether with regard to alleged incidents of violence, cross-border gunfire or Syrian infiltration into Lebanon. Those allegations have been officially disproved and several Lebanese officials have stated that those incidents did not occur. The presentation of false reports about Syria to the Security Council in a report on Lebanon is contrary to resolution 1559 (2004) and makes it incumbent upon Security Council members to hold accountable those who would attempt to mislead them.
Syria reiterates that it does not accept the references that were made in paragraphs 8, 10, 13 and 48 of the report to the delineation of the Syrian-Lebanese border, which is a bilateral matter. It reaffirms that the real obstacle to the final delineation of the Syrian-Lebanese border is Israel’s continued aggression and its occupation of the Syrian Golan and the Shab‘a Farms. This occupation makes it impossible to delineate the border in those areas. The international community must take the steps required to compel Israel to withdraw from the Lebanese and Syrian territory which it occupies, in accordance with internationally recognized resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the principle of land for peace, in order to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region.
Those who claim to care about Lebanon’s stability and territorial integrity should also care about its security and independence. Therefore, effective pressure must be brought to bear on Israel in order to compel it to withdraw from the Lebanese territory it continues to occupy. Steps must be taken to prevent and put an end to Israeli violations.
With regard to paragraph 16 of the report, the Syrian Arab Republic reaffirms its position that the real obstacle to the resolution of the Shab‘a Farms question is Israel’s continued occupation of those Farms and the Syrian Golan, and its refusal to comply with internationally recognized resolutions. The border cannot be delineated until Israel withdraws from the Shab‘a Farms area because it is impossible to delineate the border while that area remains occupied.
With regard to paragraphs 38 and 46 concerning Palestinian armed groups, we reaffirm that the Palestinian presence in Lebanon is governed by Lebanese-Palestinian agreements which do not concern Syria. With respect to the Palestinian positions located along the Syrian-Lebanese border that are noted in the report, we reiterate that all those positions lie within Lebanese territory. Therefore, Syria will not intervene in this matter. We also reiterate that the primary reason for the Palestinian presence in Lebanon and other neighbouring States, including Syria, is the continued occupation by Israel of Palestinian territory and its refusal to implement United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and General Assembly resolution 194 (III), which guarantees the Palestine refugees the right to return to the homes from which they were expelled.
The authors of the report should respect the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon and should not interfere in its internal affairs, including the formation of its Government, on any pretext whatsoever. They should also not continue to overlook that, in order to ensure Lebanon’s security and stability, it is vital to deter Israel’s continual violations and end its occupation of Lebanese territory.
We reaffirm that, if the international community wishes to play a positive role in Lebanon, it must act swiftly to put an end to the Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory, which would bolster Lebanon’s security and independence, and as a result, have a positive impact on Syria and the entire region.
Lastly, the Syrian Arab Republic reaffirms its support for the stability and security of Lebanon, for its efforts to liberate the parts of its territory occupied by Israel, and for its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.