________________________________________________________________________ Lebanon wants Israelis out of its southern territories now, speaker says Copyright ) 1998 Nando.net Copyright ) 1998 Agence France-Presse BEIRUT (January 5, 1998 11:30 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Lebanese parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri said Monday that Israel must unconditionally withdraw from south Lebanon to conform to a 1978 U.N. resolution, and rejected Israel's demands for security guarantees. "Resolution 425 stipulates an unconditional Israeli withdrawal and does not envision any security arrangements other than the armistice accord" which ended the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Berri said. He said he "feared" that the aim of the Israeli government in publicly accepting the 20-year-old resolution this week is "to separate the Lebanese and Syrian peace tracks." Israel publicly accepted the resolution for the first time on Sunday but insisted any pullout must be accompanied by security guarantees. "Israel is ready to accept Resolution 425 provided that it is possible to reach an agreement with Lebanon which will ensure the security procedures required by Israel," Netanyahu said. "Of course a unilateral withdrawal is out of the question," he added. Berri, who also heads the Shiite Amal movement, said the acceptance of the resolution by Israel 20 years on was "a positive (development) due to the action of the anti-Israeli resistance in south Lebanon." Israel occupies a buffer zone in south Lebanon to protect its northern territory from attacks by anti-Israeli guerrillas, notably the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, but also the pro-Syrian Amal.
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