Home Daily Brief Canadian Statement on Lebanon Situation

Canadian Statement on Lebanon Situation

by Mike Fegelman

Dfait_1Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay released this statement about events in Lebanon:

"Canada strongly condemns Hizbollah’s attack on Israel, which has included the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the launching of Katyusha rockets and mortar bombs into Israeli towns. These actions only exacerbate tensions in the Middle East, threaten the lives of civilians, and risk a deteriorating humanitarian situation.

We urge Hizbollah to immediately and unconditionally release the Israeli soldiers. We call on the Lebanese government to do its utmost to restore order within its border and to fully implement Security Council resolution 1559. We also call on Syria and Iran, both long time supporters of Hizbollah, to cease all financial and other assistance to the organization.

Canada remains deeply concerned about the well being of civilians. We urge all parties to act with restraint and take all possible measures to protect innocent civilian lives."

UNSC Resolution 1559 calls for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias," and "the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory."

Lebanon’s failure to comply with these obligations, making the Hizbollah atack possible, are the basis for Israeli prime minister Olmert’s declaration that Lebanon is reponsible for the attack, which was an "act of war":

I want to make it clear: This morning’s events were not a terrorist attack but the action of a sovereign state that attacked Israel for no reason and without provocation.  The Lebanese government, of which Hizbullah is a member, is trying to undermine regional stability.  Lebanon is responsible and Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions…

One thing must be understood: This was an act of war without any provocation on the sovereign territory — about which there is no dispute — of the State of Israel.  It is absolutely clear to the international community that Israel will respond and that it will respond in an unequivocal fashion that will cause those who started this act of war to bear a very painful and far-reaching responsibility for their actions."

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