President Lahoud: It is time for Israel to abide by all UN resolutions

By Haaretz Service

Haaretz

Elul 29, 5766

It is time for Israel to take responsibility and abide by United Nations resolutions, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud said Thursday in his address to the UN General Assembly.

Lahoud called the Israel Defense Forces' 34-day operation on southern Lebanon a "barbaric aggression," and said "this savagery did not weaken our people's resolve."

"It is time to ask Israel to finally abide by past and current UN resolutions," Lahoud said. The president also called on the international community to "safeguard" resolution 1701, which led to the cease-fire between IDF troops and Hezbollah guerillas, though he accused the United Nations of having been "powerless to stop slaughter of the war."

Lahoud said that despite the destruction and mass casualties accrued during the recent war, "the will of our people to move forward has proved stronger than their despair."

Lahoud also accused Israel of holding hostage Lebanese citizens, and asked the world to stand by Lebanon.

The wife of Ehud Goldwasser, one of the IDF soldiers abducted by Hezbollah militants, approached Lahoud after his speech and introduced herself. The Lebanese president responded to Karnit Goldwasser in Arabic, and walked on.

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz on Wednesday said that troops would not be ready to leave Lebanon on Friday, as predicted. The IDF had agreed to withdraw all military personnel from southern Lebanon as soon as 50,000 troops from the UN peacekeeping forces had deployed, as occurred earlier this week.