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UN Chief Concerned With Weapons Smuggling into Lebanon


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is concerned that weapons are still being smuggled into Lebanon.

During a visit with U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon Saturday, Mr. Ban said intelligence reports indicate arms are being shipped into Lebanon. He said that although potential threats remain in the country, the situation at the present time is calm.

The U.N. interim peacekeeping force (known as UNIFIL) has been monitoring a truce agreement reached under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701. That resolution ended last year's month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah.

The U.N. chief arrived in Beirut Thursday from Saudi Arabia, where he attended an Arab League summit.

On Friday, Mr. Ban urged Lebanon's leaders to engage in dialogue for the purpose of promoting national reconciliation.

The Lebanese government has been in a months-long political standoff with the Hezbollah-led opposition, a militant Shi'ite group backed by Syria and Iran.

Mr. Ban also called for progress in creating a tribunal that would investigate and try suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

A U.N. investigation implicated Syrian intelligence officials and their Lebanese allies in the killing. Syria has denied any involvement in the murder.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.