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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
UN urges Israeli action on Shebaa
UN peacekeepers in Lebanon
UN peacekeepers are liaising between the two sides
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has told the Israeli prime minister that a dispute over the border with Lebanon is "a thorn in need of extraction".

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Mr Annan did not make any specific request to Ariel Sharon for immediate action, at a recent meeting in New York.

Israel occupied the Shebaa Farms area during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Lebanon and Syria say the land is Lebanese, and therefore the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon is incomplete.


The UN says the area is Syrian, but that the Lebanese and Syrian authorities are free to demarcate their border as they wish. The UN has also certified that Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon is complete.

The militant Lebanese Hezbollah group has used the Israeli presence in the area to justify continued armed conflict.

Mr Dujarric was responding to queries about a report in the Israeli press.

The Maariv newspaper reported that Mr Annan told the Israeli leader that Israel should consider pulling out of the area.

Mr Sharon is reported to have told the secretary general that Israel did not intend to withdraw from the area at the moment.

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