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On instructions from my Government, I should like to convey the position of the Syrian Arab Republic regarding the eighteenth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) (S/2012/124).
The Syrian Arab Republic wishes to reaffirm that it respects Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence. Syria further reaffirms its commitment to providing all possible support and assistance to consolidate the authority and sovereignty of the Lebanese Government over all Lebanese territory.
As regards what paragraphs 41 and 54 have to say about so-called armed Palestinian groups, the Palestinian presence in Lebanon is regulated by Lebanese-Palestinian agreements, which have no connection with Syria. Regarding the report’s reference to Palestinian positions straddling the Syrian-Lebanese border, we affirm once again that all of those positions lie inside Lebanese territory. Syria therefore will not involve itself with the matter. The principal reason for the Palestinian presence in Lebanon and neighbouring States, including Syria, is Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory and its refusal to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy, especially Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and General Assembly resolution 194 (III), which guarantee the refugees’ right of return to the land 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 on any pretext whatsoever. Nor should they continue to overlook the fact 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. In so doing, it would bolster Lebanon’s security and independence and 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.
I should like this letter to be issued as a document of the Security Council before the date on which the Security Council discusses the report.