UN Council in rare united declaration on Syria
UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council expressed "grave concern" Thursday over cross-border attacks between Syria and Lebanon in a rare united declaration on the Syrian conflict.
The 15-member body, bitterly divided over the war, expressed "deep concern" over the fallout from the Syrian conflict on stability in Lebanon, in a statement released after closed talks.
Council members "underscored their grave concern over repeated incidents of cross-border fire which caused death and injury among the Lebanese population, incursions, abductions and arms trafficking across the Lebanese-Syrian border, as well as other border violations."
The statement was read to reporters by Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin. Moscow has joined Beijing in blocking three resolutions aiming to step up pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to halt the conflict.
The Security Council "underlined the importance of full respect for Lebanon's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity."
It also expressed "deep concern at the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon's stability.
Council members "appealed to all Lebanese people to preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country's stability and stressed the need for all Lebanese parties to respect Lebanon's policy of disassociation and to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis," the statement added.