Annan shows ignorance on blockade comments

AP/Washington Times:

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday called Israel's air and sea blockade of Lebanon a "humiliation," while Israel said it won't end the embargo until peacekeeping forces on the border can prevent Hezbollah guerrillas from importing new weapons.
Mr. Annan said the United Nations hoped to double its 2,500-member force in southern Lebanon by Friday, but that number was still far short of the 15,000 international troops authorized under a Security Council cease-fire resolution approved Aug. 11.
The U.N. chief arrived in Israel after visiting U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, who will play a key role in maintaining the fragile truce that ended 34 days of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.
His visits to Lebanon and Israel occurred a day after Italy and Turkey moved to join the international force in southern Lebanon.
Mr. Annan said he told Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz about lifting the blockade on Lebanon "as soon as possible in order to allow Lebanon to go on with normal commercial activities and also rebuild its economy."
During an earlier visit to Naqoura in south Lebanon, Mr. Annan said, "We need to deal with the lifting of the embargo -- sea, land and air -- which for the Lebanese is a humiliation and an infringement on their sovereignty."
Israel wants international forces to help patrol the Lebanon-Syria border to stop the arms flow. Lebanon has said its troops would be able to secure the border on their own.
One of the reasons it has not been lifted is because prior to the war, one of the "normal activities" was the supplying of weapons to the Hezballah terrorist acting as proxies for Iran and Syria. That must not be a matter of importance to Annan since he lives in New York and not northern Israel, but if the UN does not do something to stop the flow of arms there will be another outbreak of violence.

The UN has already shown its lack of seriousness on this issue by not putting any forces in a position to implement the embargo called for in its latest resolution. If Annan is more concerned with Lebanon's humiliation that implementation of UN resolutions then he needs to resign.

Update: Captain's Quarters discusses Olmert's perceptive response to Annan's request.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has shrugged off repeated calls by UN head Kofi Annan to lift the military blockade of Lebanon, telling reporters that he sees the cease-fire agreement as a "fixed buffet" and, presumably, not a smorgasbord....


Olmert may have mentioned that the cease-fire's failures go beyond the two soldiers that Hezbollah has still not freed. UNSC Resolution 1701 calls for the implementation of UNSCR 1559, which directs Lebanon to disarm Hezbollah. Lebanon, so far, has refused, which puts them in direct violation of both resolutions. Israel has no responsibility to lift the blockade while the Fuad Siniora government refuses to even attempt to meet the requirements of 1701.

Apparently Lebanon would rather be "humiliated" than comply with the UN resolutions. It is also clear that Kofi Annan is not serious about achieving that compliance and is more serious about putting pressure on Israel to ignore that non compliance. He should resign.


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