The Lebanese government unanimously adopted UN resolution 1701 today. Although the support vote was unanimous, HA ministers had reservations on some of the details which have not been disclosed yet. I will, however, jump the gun and predict these reservations in the following points:
- Complete evacuation of the area south of the Litani of HA weapons
- Monitoring air, sea, and land ports for arms smuggling
- No mention of the Shebaa farms
- No call for a ceasefire
- Recall of UN resolution 1559
Information Minister Ghazi Aridi, announced after the cabinet meeting that the UN resolution 1701 was a resounding victory for the diplomacy undertaken by the Lebanese government, an opinion shared by Saniora a few hours earlier. Aridi went further to announce that HA has agreed to respect the full implementation of the resolution, including the weapons free zone south of the Litani. However, a low level HA official declared during an interview on Al-Arabiya that it is unlikely that they (HA) will "give Israel what it could not achieve through war".
Prior to the cabinet meeting, Nasrallah came out of his cave again to claim the victory. His victory is seen from a "slightly" different perspective than that of Saniora's though. Nasrallah only saw his militia's survival on the battlefield and the casualties inflicted on the IDF as his source of pride. True as that may be, his speach was somewhat benign in a sense that he did accept resolution 1701 with reservations, acknowledged the Lebanese people's steadfastness, and committed to a ceasefire as soon as the UN declares one. His true intentions, however, emerge in a comment that some parts of the resolution are considered "an interference in Lebanon's internal affairs." This particular comment takes Lebanon back to pre July 12th with the difference that Saniora's government has the Lebanese army in the south, a reinforced UNIFIL, and a violent 30-day war experience which the government should use to tip the balance against HA. The following few days will show how these positions unfold.