Suleiman from Ivory Coast: Lebanon will Continue to Implement Resolution 1701إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman has stressed that Lebanon will continue to implement a U.N. resolution that halted the Israel-Hizbullah war in 2006 in an attempt to restore sovereignty on all its territories.
“With the support of the international community, Lebanon will continue to work to implement Security Council resolution 1701 in an effort to restore sovereignty on all its territories,” Suleiman said on Thursday during a dinner banquet thrown by the President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, in his honor.
Resolution 1701, which ended the Hizbullah-Israel war in 2006, expanded the mandate of U.N. troops in the South, which was originally formed in 1978 after the outbreak of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war.
It imposed a strict embargo on weapons destined for Lebanese or foreign militias in Lebanon, and pressed Israel to end violations of Lebanon's airspace and to withdraw from northern Ghajar.
In his speech, Suleiman stressed that “a just settlement for the problem of the Middle East and the cause of Palestine is a prerequisite to the consolidation of democracy and moderation in our region.”
The Middle East is threatened by “extremism, unilateralism, autocracy and sectarianism,” he said.
Despite the turmoil in the region and the world economic crisis, “Lebanon was capable of avoiding their negative repercussions through its solid banking sector,” Suleiman said.
He also hailed the latest measures in oil and gas exploration, saying Lebanon will soon issue tenders.
The authorities have already passed an offshore petroleum law and carried out seismic surveys in its territorial waters. The country also launched last month an onshore survey of hydrocarbon reserves which Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said could turn the country into a regional oil hub.
Lebanon has been slow to exploit maritime resources compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries. Israel, Cyprus and Turkey are all more advanced in drilling for oil and gas.
Suleiman was in Senegal for a two-day visit before heading to the Ivory Coast on Thursday.
He also participated in the Lebanese-Ivorian economic forum on Thursday.
The president launched his African tour on Tuesday by visiting Algeria.