Norway welcomes and strongly supports resolution 1701. We strongly encourage the parties to do their utmost to maintain the cessation of hostilities and to transform it into a lasting ceasefire. We support the Secretary General in his view that the recent Israeli military operation in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon is in violation of the said cessation of hostilities and urge all parties to refrain from further actions that undermines resolution 1701.
Our main priority must be to achieve a long-term solution based on implementation of resolution 1701. Norway gives the Secretary General its full support in his efforts to find ways to implement the resolution. The international community must follow up with political support and economic and humanitarian contributions.
Norway welcomes the positive steps taken on the ground, including the deployment of the Lebanese Army to the south and the parties’ coordination with the UNIFIL on the withdrawal of the IDF.
While the parties bear the main responsibility to ensure the implementation of the resolution, we call on all states in the region to contribute constructively towards that goal.
The rapid deployment of a reinforced UNIFIL is vital to implement resolution 1701. The Norwegian government is considering a contribution to the force, provided that the necessary conditions to ensure success are in place, in particular satisfactory rules of engagement.
The humanitarian needs are enormous and a cause of great concern to Norway. It is imperative for the Lebanese government and the international donor community to identify the humanitarian needs in Lebanon. As a contribution to this effort, Sweden, Spain and Norway have invited to a relief and early recovery conference in Stockholm on 31 August. Let me add that Norway has already allocated 22 million dollars for humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people (with an additional 1,6 million to remove oil spills on the coast of Lebanon), and stands ready to contribute to the long-term reconstruction efforts in Lebanon.
We remain deeply concerned about the continued deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza. The Israeli closure regime is preventing vital goods from entering Gaza and is hurting the entire Palestinian population. Norway strongly urges all parties to return to the peace process on the basis of the Roadmap.