Annan vows U.N. backing for Lebanon redeployment

The secretary-general has the power through the 22-year-old Resolution 425, which called on Israel to withdraw, demanded "strict respect of the territorial integrity" of Lebanon within its borders, and established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL.

The history of the resolution goes back to March 1978 when a terror attack on two buses near Tel Aviv killed 37 people and wounded 76 others. Soon after, the Israel Defense Force entered southern Lebanon to clear out the Palestine Liberation Organization's bases and staging area.

When Israel entered Lebanon, the United States sought a way to send U.N. peacekeeping forces into southern Lebanon to establish a terrorist-free buffer zone so that the IDF could withdraw.

As a result of these efforts, the U.N. Security Council adopted the resolution.

On Tuesday, Levy told Annan that Israel's decision to redeploy is not conditional on U.N. assistance and that Israel does not plan to hold the body responsible for its security.

Levy stressed, however, Israel will be a willing partner if the United Nations plans to assist in implementing Resolution 425.

"We have agreed to coordinate everything together to prepare the necessary mechanism…to create a climate of security and stability. We have to be very careful not to allow a settling of accounts or anything tragic there," Levy said.

In the course of the 90-minute meeting, Levy also raised the issue of the 13 Iranian Jews facing trial in Tehran for espionage and the matter of missing airman Ron Arad.