Nawaf Salam
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U.N. Asks Israel to Pay Lebanon $850 M for Oil Spill

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday asking Israel to pay Lebanon over $850 million in damages for an oil spill caused by an Israeli air force attack on oil storage tanks during its war with Hizbullah in July 2006.

The assembly voted 170-6 in favor of the resolution, with three abstentions. Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, Micronesia and Marshall Islands voted "no."

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Support Group for Lebanon to Meet on Sidelines of U.N. Assembly, Says Permanent Representative

Nawaf Salam, Lebanon's Permanent Representative to the U.N., that a meeting will be held for the International Support Group for Lebanon on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, which will be opening its sessions in New York on September 16.

Salam said, in comments published in al-Mustaqbal newspaper on Friday, that the meeting will be held to extend further support to Lebanon and its stability and to fortify the capabilities of the army.

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U.N. Calls for Avoiding Any Action that Adds to Regional Tension

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky has said that any action which adds to tension in the region should be avoided after Hizbullah vowed retaliation to what it said was an Israeli raid on one of its positions on the Lebanese-Syrian border.

“We don’t have independent confirmation about air strikes. We’ve seen the media reports,” Nesirky said Thursday.

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Foreign Ministry Asks Lebanon's U.N. Ambassador to File Complaint over Israeli Raids

Foreign Minister Jebra Bassil on Thursday asked Lebanon's envoy to the United Nations to file a complaint against Israel over the two airstrikes it waged on the Bekaa town of Janta.

"Bassil asked ambassador Nawaf Salam to hand over the complaint to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon,” the state-run National News Agency said.

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Security Council Welcomes International Support Group for Lebanon, Urges Swift Cabinet Formation

The U.N. Security Council has welcomed the mobilization of support by the International Support Group for Lebanon, which the country’s Ambassador to New York described as a reflection of the world body's commitment to protect Lebanon.

In a statement issued following a meeting the Council held on Tuesday, its members “welcomed” the support group's “successful mobilization of support for Lebanon to address the country’s humanitarian, security, and socioeconomic needs.”

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Nawaf Salam: 5 Permanent Members Agree to Distance Lebanon from Regional Crises

A Sept. 25 meeting of an international support group for Lebanon at the United Nations General Assembly will be based on a presidential statement issued by the Security Council this month, Lebanon's permanent representative to the U.N. said.

Ambassador Nawaf Salam told An Nahar daily published on Saturday that the meeting, which will be headed by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and President Michel Suleiman, will take as its starting point an international call for a strong support to Lebanon to confront the challenges that are threatening its security and stability.

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Nawaf Salam Warns: Number of Syrian Refugees Expected to Surpass 1 Million by End of 2013

Lebanon's ambassador to the United Nations Nawaf Salam warned on Tuesday that the number of Syrian refugees fleeing the war-torn country and coming to Lebanon could surpass one million by the end of 2013.

"The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is expected to reach 1,229,000 by the end of this year,” Salam stated at a U.N. Security Council session dedicated to discuss the neighboring country's crisis.

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Lebanon Asks Security Council to Share Refugees' Burden, Salam Stresses: No Syrians Will Be Deported

Lebanon's envoy to the United Nations Nawwaf Salam requested on Thursday sharing the burden of Syria's refugees with Arab states, confirming that no Syrians have been deported back to their country.

"The number of Syrians in Lebanon could reach 1.2 million by the end of 2013 and many Palestinian families are expected to enter Lebanon,” Salam warned at a U.N. Security Council session that discussed the situation of Syria's children in the midst of the country's conflict.

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Miqati Heads to Rio for Sustainable Development Summit

Prime Minister Najib Miqati travelled to Brazil on Friday to take part in the U.N. conference on sustainable development that opens in Rio de Janeiro next week.

A statement released by his press office said Miqati will lead Lebanon’s delegation to the U.N. Rio+20 conference that is set to be held on June 20-22.

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Lebanon's Stance on U.N. Syria Vote Creates Controversy

Lebanon’s decision to abstain from voting on the U.N. Security Council resolution against the Syrian regime triggered wide reactions locally, especially among the March 8 forces and the March 14-led opposition that strongly criticized it, An Nahar newspaper reported on Thursday.

Sources told the daily that the Foreign Ministry had directed Lebanon's Special Envoy to the U.N. Nawaf Salam to vote against the resolution, but urgent discussions among officials favored that Lebanon abstain from voting.

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