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Syria Criticizes UN Envoy On Allegation of Weapons Smuggle
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Syria criticized on Wednesday the top UN diplomat on Lebanese ties with Syria Terje Roed-Larsen over his recent allegations that Damascus continues to smuggle weapons into Lebanon, the official SANA news agency reported.

The allegations were "an attempt to again escalate atmospheres in the region and further deteriorate Syria's relation with Lebanon more than ever," said Syria's foreign ministry in a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and President of the Security Council.

It added that Larsen's allegations also seek to divert the UN Security Council attention away into "marginal issues rather than following up its main duties through concentration on non-essential and insignificant issues and neglecting the sensitive issues which destabilize safety and stability of Lebanon."

"Mr. Larsen also ignored Israeli flagrant continued violations of Lebanon's sovereignty, airspace and waters and national soil," said the letter.

It stressed that "the statements issued by Lebanese official circles, including Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs and Army Commander, had denied as unfounded Mr. Larsen's allegations and were a strong blow to the credibility of the report and its writer."

"Such reports which are full of fallacies and selectivity could only lead to weakening the credibility of the peoples in the region in the honesty of some UN envoys," said the letter.

Syria has pledged to increase border security to stop flow of weapons into the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas in accordance with UN resolution 1701 which brokered a truce between the militant group and Israel after a 34-day-long war.

(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2006)


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