According to state media on Monday, al-Shara told a UN envoy he "regretted that certain UN resolutions had become an element of tension when they should maintain and strengthen peace and security in the world".

 

The official Sana news agency reported the minister's remarks made during talks in Damascus with UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, who is writing a report on compliance with Resolution 1559 which was adopted last September.

The two men discussed the "negative impact of 1559 on the situation in Lebanon," the news agency reported.

Al-Shara asked the United Nations to "remain committed to the aims of its charter" and "not treat the implementation of international resolutions differently".

Israeli evacuation

Damascus says it is only prepared to comply with 1559 after the UN Security Council implements Resolutions 242 and 338, which call on Israel to evacuate Arab land seized in 1967.

Al-Shara asked the UN to remain
committed to its charter

Roed-Larsen left the Syrian Foreign Ministry in silence after his talks, and made no comment to journalists. He is due to travel on to Beirut.

The UN resolution demands the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon and an end to meddling in its domestic politics, in a clear reference to its neighbour Syria which still has about 14,000 troops in Lebanon.

Last October, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan reported that both Syria and Lebanon were in breach of the text. Roed-Larsen is to draft a new report for Annan to present in April.