UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The UN Security Council underscored its grave concern Thursday at the arms trafficking and repeated weapons fire across the Lebanon-Syria border, but said it was happy that arms had not been used against Israel.
The council appealed to all Lebanese to preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country’s stability and refrain from any involvement in the two-year-old Syrian conflict.
In a press statement after closed-door briefings by the UN special coordinator for Lebanon and a senior UN peacekeeping official, the council expressed grave concern at the impact of the growing flow of refugees fleeing the violence in Syria. They now total 360,000 in Lebanon.
Council members also said they are encouraged by the calm that continues to prevail across the Blue Line, the UN-drawn boundary between Lebanon and Israel. They urged the parties “to make every effort to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is sustained.”
The bloodshed in Syria has drawn Lebanon deeper into the unrest — a troubling sign for a country that has gone through its own 15-year civil war and has an explosive sectarian mix as well as deep divisions between pro- and anti-Syria factions, many of which are armed.
The council expressed grave concern at repeated incidents of cross-border fire which has killed and injured Lebanese civilians, as well as incursions, abductions and arms trafficking across the border.
The council expressed deep concern “at the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s stability” and called on all parties to respect Lebanon’s “policy of disassociation and to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.