Photo: Reuters
Annan in Damascus
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AFP
UN wins Syrian backing for Lebanon resolution
Following Damascus meeting, UN Secretary-General Annan says Syria promised to 'take all necessary measures' to implement arms embargo on Hizbullah. Syrian President Assad says he supports release of three IDF troops in exchange for Syrian prisoners jailed in Israel

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that Syria has promised to "take all necessary measures" to implement an arms embargo on Hizbullah.


Syria will increase its patrols along the Lebanon-Syria border, and establish joint patrols with the Lebanese army "when possible," Annan said after meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus.


The UN resolution that halted fighting between Israel and Hizbullah calls for an arms embargo on the guerrilla group, and for Lebanon to "secure its borders and other entry points."


"It was a very good meeting. The president and Mr. Annan discussed the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 and the president told Mr. Annan that Syria supports and will help its implementation," Ahmad Fawzi, Annan's spokesman, said.


The UN chief also asked Syria to "use its influence" to win the release of three Israeli soldiers - two captured by Hizbullah in a July 12 cross-border raid that started the war, and one captured by Hamas-linked militants in Gaza the previous month. Assad said he supported their release, but raised the issue of Syrian prisoners held in Israel, Annan said.


Annan: IDF shouldn't have used cluster bombs  

On Thursday, Annan condemned Israel's use of cluster bombs in Lebanon saying, "we need to be severely careful during wars."


In a press conference held by Annan in Jordan, he demanded that Israel reveal where it used them so that they may be cleared as soon as possible.


Annan said that such bombs should not have been used in populated areas.


"I call for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, which should not be used as targets," he said.


During his visit to Jordan, Annan added that that the time was ripe for normal relations between Israel and Lebanon following the ceasefire that ended the recent 34-day war.


"This is the opportunity to move things for normal relations between Israel and Lebanon, if Resolution 1701 is implemented in its entirety," Annan said, referring to the UN Security Council resolution that ended the Israel-Hizbullah war.


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