Olmert Will Urge Bush to Prevent Smuggling of Weapons to Hizbullah

[Ynet News] Ronny Sofer - Israel is expected to raise the issue of the rearming of Hizbullah and the incessant smuggling of weapons into Lebanon during Prime Minister Olmert's meeting in Washington with President Bush next Tuesday. The UN peace-keeping forces mandate in Lebanon is set to be renewed in two months' time, and Israel is looking to take advantage of the opportunity to change the situation on the ground, as Hizbullah has improved its capabilities. Intelligence officials said that Israel's main concern was over Hizbullah possessing a long-range missile called the Fatah-110, which could reach Tel Aviv. A senior diplomatic official said that the embargo is not being enforced due to the phrasing of a clause in the UN mandate that states that the Lebanese prime minister can ask for international forces to deploy along the border with Syria. However, Lebanon's prime minister is in no hurry to do so. Israel will ask the U.S. to use its influence on Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora to have him deploy peace-keeping forces along the border as one of the conditions of renewing the UNIFIL forces mandate in August.

2007-06-12 01:00:00

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