UN chief criticizes Hezbollah arsenal ahead of visit

Last Updated: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 20:54

Beirut: UN chief Ban Ki-moon was due in
Lebanon on Friday after saying he hoped to see Lebanon`s rival
parties taking "concrete steps" toward the disarmament of
Hezbollah.

Ban told the Arabic-language daily An-Nahar, without
naming Hezbollah specifically, that disarming the
Iranian-backed Shiite militant group was necessary as no state
could function properly if it did not monopolise military
power.

The UN chief, who was due in Beirut later on Friday at
the start of a three-day visit, said he expects negotiations
between Hezbollah`s camp and the Western-backed opposition in
Lebanon to eventually lead to the disarmament of all militias.
However he told An-Nahar that he did not expect this
to happen overnight.

Hezbollah is the only Lebanese faction that refused to
surrender its weapons after the 1975-1990 civil war, arguing
they were needed to defend the country against Israeli
aggression.

The group fought a devastating war with Israel in 2006
and is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington.
It currently dominates the Lebanese government.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 20:54

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