U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigird Kaag reminded on Monday that U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 had called for the “disarmament of all armed groups.”
“Recalling SCR 1701 (is) vital for Lebanon’s stability-security. Resolution calls for disarmament (of) all armed groups. No arms outside control of state,” said Kaag in a tweet on Monday.
Kaag’s tweet comes two days after President Michel Aoun told Egypt’s CBC TV that Hizbullah’s weapons “do not contradict with the State.”
“As long as there is Israeli-occupied land and as long as the army is not strong enough to fight Israel, we sense that there is a need for the presence of the resistance’s arms so that they complete the army’s weapons,” Aoun said.
But in remarks to LBCI television broadcast on Monday evening, Kaag said her tweet was not in response to Aoun’s statement.
“I actually wasn’t commenting to the president’s speech of course,” Kaag told LBCI.
“But there is a lot of discussion in Lebanon at the moment, in the media, on Resolution 1701, so for myself, representing the (U.N.) ) secretary-general and being also responsible for the follow-up… on the implementation of 1701, it’s always healthy to remind the general Lebanese audience that the resolution is very clear and very specific,” she added.
“It’s a very facts-based statement on the resolution itself; it’s not a comment to anybody, but there’s a lot of debate in the Lebanese media amongst Lebanese political leaders, and of course the good thing is the government of Lebanon and President Aoun are very committed to Security Council Resolution 1701,” Kaag went on to say.
She pointed out that “an element in that resolution is very clear: it speaks about the fact that all armed groups in Lebanon should disarm… and the monopoly on violence is with the Lebanese armed forces.”
“It’s always healthy to go back to the facts and what the resolution actually asks for,” Kaag added.
In a telephone call with An Nahar daily, Kaag had said that “the U.N. resolution is unquestionable and it calls for strengthening the Lebanese Army in order to carry out its defense errands.”
“According to periodic reports on the implementation of the resolution, it pointed to progress in this area. This is what we constantly do with the Lebanese state,” Kaag concluded