Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Arab world trashes UN resolutions - Lebanese cabinet endorses Hizbullah's right to keep arms

(AP).Lebanon's new government Wednesday endorsed Hizbullah's right to keep its weapons, the latest sign that the group has no intention of meeting a UN resolution calling for it to disarm.

Lebanon's government is a shaky coalition of Western-backed factions and Hizbullah, which has virtual veto power over the government. The group is said to have thousands of rockets and missiles hidden in basements and bunkers throughout Shi'ite Muslim areas of the country.

A United Nations resolution that ended the Second Lebanon War calls on the group to disarm.

Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said recently that his group has replenished its weapons stock since 2006 and now has more than 30,000 rockets, which he said can strike virtually anywhere in Israel.

On Monday, Nasrallah said Hizbullah would further improve its weapons capabilities to face off any Israeli threat, adding that armed struggle was the only way to regain "Arab lands" captured by Israel.

All 30 cabinet ministers voted Wednesday to approve the policy statement that endorses Hizbullah's right to keep its weapons. Five ministers from the pro-Western majority expressed "reservations" over the clause addressing Hizbullah, but did not vote against it.