Annan to visit Lebanon next week

BEIRUT, Aug 18, 2006 (AFP) – UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is to visit Lebanon next week for talks on the implementation of the truce resolution that ended a month of conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, a UN source said.

A Lebanese government source confirmed the visit, saying that Annan would also visit Israel, Syria and Iran for talks on the truce.

Tehran and Damascus, the main foreign backers of Hezbollah, were left out in the cold by Washington in the talks that led to the Security Council resolution.

Ahead of the visit, UN envoys Vijay Nambiar and Terje Roed-Larsen were due to hold talks in Beirut Friday to try to ensure both sides implemented the truce resolution "without delay".

The resolution called for a withdrawal of Israeli forces and parallel deployment of government troops in south Lebanon for the first time in decades, alongside a beefed-up UN peacekeeping force.