Is Kofi Annan calling for the UN to legitimize Hezbollah? It certainly sounds like it.
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations must recognize Hezbollah as a force to be reckoned with in implementing the U.N. resolution calling for the withdrawal of all Syrian forces from Lebanon and the disarmament of the country’s militias, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday.
He was responding to a question about the disarmament of Hezbollah, which showed its strength Tuesday at a huge pro-Syrian rally in Beirut attended by hundreds of thousands of people who chanted anti-U.S. slogans. Two huge banners read in English: “Thank you Syria” and “No to foreign interference.”
Annan said the world needs to accept that in every society different groups may hold different views.
“Of course, we need to be careful of the forces at work in Lebanese society as we move forward,” he said.
“But even the Hezbollah – if I read the message on the placards they are using – they are talking about non-interference by outsiders … which is not entirely at odds with the Security Council resolution, that there should be withdrawal of Syrian troops,” Annan told reporters.
“But that having been said, we need to recognize that they are a force in society that one will have to factor in as we implement the resolution,” he said.
In perfect world this would actually be a call to crack down on Hezbollah, but this is not a perfect world and considering Annan’s track record this is certain to spell trouble for the Lebanese.