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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 23:55 GMT 00:55 UK
Lebanon's president castigates UN
Lebanese President Emile Lahoud
Mr Lahoud held up a picture of a child casualty of the conflict
Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud has lambasted the UN for failing to stop "barbarous aggression" by Israel in the recent conflict.

Mr Lahoud criticised the UN for allowing itself to be "subjected to the vagaries of a few world powers".

He said Lebanon reserved the right to take Israel to an international court to demand compensation for damages.

Mr Lahoud told the General Assembly Lebanon had been subjected to "a rarely seen campaign of savage dismemberment".

'Tacit approbation'

Mr Lahoud said Israeli fighter jets and bombs had targeted mostly civilians, "killing and maiming thousands and destroying all that made Lebanon a viable state".

"This aggression became even more cruel when it won the tacit approbation of certain great powers.

"The UN Security Council looked powerless to stop the slaughter of Lebanon's children and protect the peace in Lebanon and the Middle East," he said.

The Lebanese president criticised the time taken by the UN Security Council to agree resolution 1701, which led to a ceasefire between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Showing a picture of a child killed in the conflict, Mr Lahoud asked: "How many, children like this one here are going to die because nobody does anything for them?"

The president also welcomed investigations into Israel's use of cluster bombs during the war.

He said peace in the Middle East could not be achieved without addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he said was the "root cause" of regional instability.

"Despite the horrid events in Lebanon, a window of opportunity has presented itself and should be fully exploited," he said.

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