UNITED NATIONS, May 26 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday expressed extreme concern over the increasing risk of the spillover of the Syrian unrest to Lebanon, urging respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region.
"The secretary-general is deeply concerned by the acknowledged increased participation in the fighting in Syria by Hezbollah, as well as by the risk of spillover in Lebanon, which has witnessed growing tension over the past week," said a statement released by Ban's spokesperson. "All in the region should act responsibly and work towards lowering rhetoric and calming tensions in the region."
Two rockets hit the Hezbollah-controlled southern part of Lebanese capital city on Sunday, wounding five people. The attack came a day after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah overtly defended his group's backing to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
As preparations are ongoing for the international conference on Syria, Ban called on all countries, organizations and groups immediately to cease supporting the violence inside Syria and instead to use their influence to "promote a political solution to Syria's tragedy," said the statement.
"The secretary-general has consistently opposed the transfer of arms and fighters from outside Syria to either side inside Syria," the statement said. "He has repeatedly urged respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region."
In the statement, the UN chief reiterated the "paramount importance" of preventing a dangerous spillover of the conflict across borders and called for strict adherence to the Baabda Declaration, which was approved during a national dialogue session almost a year ago and called for keeping Lebanon neutral from regional tensions and crisis.
In addition, Ban reiterated that protecting civilians must be a priority and urged all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, the statement added
The United States and Russia have proposed an international peace conference to find a solution to the Syria crisis, which started in March 2011 and has killed more than 70,000 people, left 6.8 million people in need and driven 1.5 million Syrians as refugees abroad.