Roed Larsen slams Hezbollah in Al Arabiya interview

Under-Secretary-General Terje Rød-Larsen has asked to be relieved of his duties as of the end of May. AFP

Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian war and more recently in other parts of the region risks a spillover of sectarian tensions into Lebanon and elsewhere, U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen warned Friday, in an interview with Al Arabiya’s Talal Alhaj for his show “Diplomatic Avenue.”

He also called international community to take an urgent action in order to disarmament of the Shiite group which “was the only one militia inside Lebanon that did not abide by Altaif agreement.”

Larsen said that Israel withdrawal from South Lebanon was the result of the UN mediation "Contrary to what many believed it was not Hezbollah who pushed the Israelis out of Southern Lebanon, but it was actually the UN mediation, which drew the line of withdrawal, the so-called Blue Line.”

Roed-Larsen, who deals with the implementation of resolution 1559 that among other things calls for all militias operating in Lebanon to be disarmed and demobilized, urged international support for the country’s armed forces to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

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He called on Hezbollah to implement Lebanon’s 2012 policy of “disassociation” from regional conflicts that was adopted at the Baabda Palace under then President Michel Suleiman.

He told Talal Alhaj that “It is an anomaly that you have a very strong militia, probably stronger than the army in the country, which has been strengthening as well. It's disturbing though, also now in neighboring countries and not only Lebanon. So Hezbollah was supposed to be a resistance movement against the Israeli occupation. The Israeli occupation ended in the year 2000 and this is also why any form of legitimacy for that militia has vanished, and it is now also illegitimately going to neighboring countries, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and also doing, as I said before, undermining activities in other countries. So, if I should (suggest something)..., at the top of the political agenda related to Lebanon and the regional context is the disarming and disbanding of this militia.”

Terje Roed-Larsen has asked to be relieved of his duties as of the end of May to “devote more time to the work of the International Peace Institute” over which he currently presides. Since 2004, Larsen has served as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Security Council resolution 1559, which led to the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon and called for the disarmament of all militias in the country.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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