For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No:  UNIS/SG/2576
Release Date:  23 May 2000
Secretary-General, Carefully Following South Lebanon Events,
Urges Parties to Exercise Maximum Restraint

NEW YORK, 22 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

 The Secretary-General continues to follow very carefully events in south Lebanon.  During the course of the day, he has been in contact with President Lahoud and Prime Minister Hoss of Lebanon, Prime Minister Barak of Israel, Foreign Minister Shara of Syria, and has received calls from President Chirac of France, United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and others.

 Earlier today, the Secretary-General submitted a report to the Security Council on the implementation of resolution 425 (1978) following the notification from Israel, received on 17 April, that it would comply fully with that resolution.  The report indicates the United Nations’ plans for implementation and the requirements that will have to be met before the United Nations can confirm that Israel has completely withdrawn.  The report also stresses the cooperation that is required from Lebanon and other countries, particularly in the region, so that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) can be redeployed and reinforced.

 Recent developments on the ground have changed the situation fundamentally imperilling the plan that has been developed after consultations with the governments concerned.  In these circumstances, it is essential that all concerned cooperate fully with the United Nations and ensure the security of United Nations personnel.  The Secretary-General will be expecting explicit commitments in this regard.

 The Secretary-General wants to emphasize once again the vital need for all parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint, both in their actions and in their public statements.  Only in this way will it be possible for resolution 425 to be implemented in an orderly manner and for the loss of yet more civilian lives to be avoided.

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