FM Peres Meets UN Envoy Larsen

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
April 2, 2002

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres called UN Envoy to the Middle East Terje Larsen to an urgent meeting, in light of the Hizbullah’s attempt to heighten tensions on the northern border – an action that is liable to lead to a regional escalation.

At the meeting, which was also attended by IDF Chief of Planning General Giora Eiland, Mr. Peres presented a number of disturbing incidents that had occurred along Israel’s northern border in recent days. These events indicate that the Hizbullah is interested in persisting its provocations, and escalating the situation in the region.

Peres stressed that Israel views these attempts very seriously, and called upon the UN to emphasize to Damascus the magnitude of the dangers inherent in the situation.

Mr. Larsen stated that he concurs with Israel’s concerns, adding the he will duly warn the parties involved and act to reduce regional tensions.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN was instructed to meet with the UN Secretary General within the day, in order to relay to him an urgent dispatch from Foreign Minister Peres regarding the issue.

Peres stated: "We have no intention of bringing about an escalation in the North, yet even less of an intention of abandoning the North to the whims of the terrorists in Lebanon. Syria and Lebanon should regard the developing situation with the appropriate and requisite seriousness and responsibility."