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Middle East

Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1511W, on the Middle East, what proposals the UK has put forward for the strengthening of the Lebanese border with Syria; and if she will make a statement. (140354)

The Government continue to attach importance to strengthening the Lebanon/Syria border in the context of implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701. The UN Secretary-General has recently voiced his concerns about arms smuggling across the border.

The UK fully supported the UN Security Council’s decision to mandate a border assessment mission to visit Lebanon. The Lebanon Independent Border Assessment Team is currently in Lebanon assessing the current border security arrangements in support of UNSCR 1701. On its return, the team will provide recommendations to both the Secretary-General and the Government of Lebanon for improving the security of the Syria/Lebanon border. We are also supporting a German-led initiative to improve Lebanese border monitoring capacity and bilaterally with the Lebanese armed forces to build their capacity.