FM Levy Meets with UN Envoy Larsen about Lebanon

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
April 27, 2000

Foreign Minister David Levy met today (April 27) in his office in Jerusalem with the UN Secretary General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Terje Larsen, for a discussion about the redeployment of the IDF from Lebanon.

The commander of UNIFIL, General Seth Kofi Obeng and other senior UN officials also participated in the meeting, which lasted about an hour.

Foreign Minister Levy noted that Israel is pleased with the approach and positions of Secretary General Kofi Annan regarding the measure, which is designed to bring about a quieter and more stable situation in South Lebanon and the implementation of Security Council resolutions. Israel will cooperate with the UN and will examine all matters with the goal of reaching understanding.

During the meeting, direct communication between UN and Foreign Ministry personnel was agreed upon, and it was established that UN and Foreign Ministry legal advisors will meet tomorrow (April 28) for a discussion of current issues.

The Foreign Minister expressed his confidence that the expected measure would strengthen the government of Lebanon and its control in the south, and emphasized that "it must be clear to the government in Beirut that it is an inseparable part of what we are trying to achieve and that the Lebanese army should consider the UN and its activities as a factor which has come to strengthen it for the missions which it should take upon itself".

Minister Levy also said that if after the completion of the redeployment of the IDF from the security zone, the Hizbullah organization continues its activities against Israel, it will be proven that Hizbullah is not only the enemy of Israel but also an enemy of Lebanon and the UN which prefers chaos to peace.

Mr. Larsen, who complimented Foreign Minister Levy’s activities regarding Lebanon, brought up before the minister several points connected to the matter, as requested by the UN Secretary General, and the two agreed that Larsen would brief Prime Minister Barak and Foreign Minister Levy on his talks in Beirut, Damascus and Cairo in the upcoming days.