Reacting to recent attacks in the Middle East, members of the Security Council today denounced violations of the withdrawal line between Israel and Lebanon -- known as the Blue Line -- and called on all parties to desist from further breaches.
"Council members condemned this renewed cycle of violence that has inflamed the already tense situation in the region," the body's current President, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, told the press. "They called on all parties to respect the Blue Line, to exercise maximum restraint, and to refrain from any action that would exacerbate the situation further."
Earlier, the Council heard a closed-door briefing by the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Hédi Annabi, on what Ambassador Greenstock described as "a dangerous escalation across the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon established by the United Nations."
Council members also expressed deep concern about the recent "violent action" in the Gaza Strip and surrounding areas, Ambassador Greenstock said. He added that "Council members will continue to follow the situation in the region very closely."
Meanwhile, a UN spokesman confirmed today that Secretary-General Kofi Annan had spoken with the President of Syria yesterday as part of a "two-day blitz of telephone calls that he's been making concerning the events in Israel and Palestine."
Spokesman Fred Eckhard said the conversation had been "friendly," adding that the Secretary-General was "phoning around widely to heads of State and government in the region, as well as a few outside the region" in recent days.