UN Secretary-General Annan walks with Syrian Foreign Minister Al-Moualem in Damascus
Khaled Al-hariri  /  Reuters
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (R) walks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem at the lobby of a Damascus hotel ahead of meeting President Bashar al-Assad September 1, 2006. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri (SYRIA)
updated 9/1/2006 7:10:31 AM ET 2006-09-01T11:10:31

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday that Syria would step up border patrols and work with the Lebanese army to stop the flow of weapons to Hezbollah.

Syria will increase its own patrols along the Lebanon-Syria border, and establish joint patrols with the Lebanese army “when possible,” Annan said after meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus.

Assad made no public comments after their meeting, but Annan spoke with reporters at the Damascus airport before he departed midday for Qatar.

The U.N. resolution that halted fighting between Israel and Hezbollah calls for an arms embargo on the guerrilla group, and for Lebanon to “secure its borders and other entry points.”

Annan said Assad informed him that Syria would “take all necessary measures” to implement paragraph 15 of U.N. resolution 1701, which calls on countries to prevent the sale or supply of weapons to entities in Lebanon without the consent of the Lebanese government or U.N. peacekeepers.

The U.N. chief also asked Syria to “use its influence” to win the release of three Israeli soldiers — two captured by Hezbollah in a July 12 cross-border raid that started the war, and one captured by Hamas-linked militants in Gaza the previous month. Assad said he supported their release, but raised the issue of Syrian prisoners held in Israel, Annan said.

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