Enforce UN resolutions: Barak

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 August, 2006, 12:00am

Israel's most decorated soldier, former prime minister Ehud Barak, says there is only one way to end the war against Hezbollah: enforcement of UN resolutions.

Mr Barak said military operations would stop militias from firing rockets at his country, but Lebanon's government held the key to peace. It was unwilling to disarm Hezbollah, so the world community had to force action.

UN Security Council resolution 1559 had been enforced to the letter in all but the elimination of Hezbollah; now it was up to Lebanon to do as it had been told, he said.

Resolution 1559 called on Lebanon to establish sovereignty over its territory, demanded the disarming of Lebanese militias and told Syria to withdraw its troops and stop interfering in Lebanese politics. Compliance followed on all but the section on Hezbollah; with Syrian and Iranian backing, the guerilla group formed a political party and won a substantial number of parliamentary seats in subsequent elections, but maintained its militias.

'We don't pretend that we have any right to try to influence the political choice or political structures in Lebanon,' Mr Barak, 64, said in Hong Kong on Tuesday evening on a stopover to Singapore. 'But we clearly expect Lebanon, as a member of the family of nations - the UN - to behave by the rules of the game of the international community. It is unacceptable for a legitimate sovereign state to have a party in the parliament and cabinet that also has weapons and separate policies, including an aggressive stance towards a neighbouring sovereign state.'