UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan chided both Israel and Hizbullah on Monday, saying they could not "choose and pick" parts of a UN ceasefire resolution to implement. He demanded that the organization release two captured Israeli soldiers and Israel lift a blockade on Lebanon.
Visiting Beirut on the first leg of an 11-day Mideast tour, Annan called UN Resolution 1701 "a fixed menu." "It's not a buffet ... It's not an a la carte menu where you choose and pick. We have to implement 1701 in its entirety and I hope that all parties will pay attention and act in that spirit," he said.
"Without the full implementation of resolution 1701, I fear the risk is great for renewal of hostilities," he continued
The top UN diplomat also said he was renewing his "call for the abducted soldiers to be free." He urged Hizbullah to transfer them to the Lebanese government "or a third party" under the auspices of the international Red Cross. "We, the UN, will be prepared to play a role if we are required to do so. And I offer our services," he added.
Hizbullah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid July 12, starting the 34-day war. Annan also urged Israel to lift its air and sea blockade on Lebanon. "I'm working with them and a number of
international partners to see to it that this is done," he said.
Annan obliquely renewed the U.N.'s call for Hizbullah's disarmament. "In Lebanon there should, as we have all agreed, be one law, one authority, one gun," he said.