On day two of Kofi Annan’s mission to cement the ceasefire between Hizbollah and Israel, the United Nations Secretary-General has been meeting those charged with keeping the peace on the ground and inspecting the damage caused in Lebanon during 34 days of war. He used the opportunity of a visit to the UN mission in the south of the country to make a fresh call for Security Council resolution 1701 to be implemented in full.
“There are certain key issues which are becoming serious irritants on both sides that we need to resolve,” he said.
“We need to resolve the issue of the abducted soldiers very quickly and obviously there is the issue of the prisoners that will have to be dealt with. And we need to be dealing with the lifting of the embargo, sea, land and air.”
In a poignant reminder of the dangers faced by the UN mission in Lebanon, Kofi Annan laid a wreath in memory of those who have lost their lives – including UNIFIL members killed by Israeli attacks during the recent conflict. He then headed to Israel for talks with the government and to meet the families of the three Israeli soldiers being held by Hizbollah and Palestinian militants.