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French FM urges Hezbollah, Israel to avoid escalation

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Beirut, April 29 (IANS) French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne has called on Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Israel to avoid escalation, reaffirming France’s ongoing efforts to prevent the expansion of conflict between the two sides.

Beirut, April 29 (IANS) French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne has called on Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Israel to avoid escalation, reaffirming France’s ongoing efforts to prevent the expansion of conflict between the two sides.

“We reject the worst scenario in southern Lebanon, and it is in no one’s interest for the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel to expand,” Sejourne was quoted by Lebanese TV channel Al-Jadeed as saying on Sunday.

Sejourne made the remarks after his meeting in Beirut with senior Lebanese officials, during which they discussed solutions to the ongoing conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We have presented proposals to all partners, considered Lebanon’s response, and will wait for Israel’s response on Tuesday. An agreement must be reached in the end,” he said.

Sejourne emphasized France’s commitment to safeguarding Lebanon, stressing the importance of restoring stability in southern Lebanon by sending the Lebanese army to the area.

He said that Paris would continue to support the Lebanese army, pointing out the “decisive role” of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in “avoiding the worst scenario,” and urging all parties to allow UNIFIL to carry out its tasks.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said during his meeting with Sejourne that “the French initiative constitutes a practical framework for implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701,” according to a statement released by the Lebanese Council of Ministers.

Mikati said Lebanon was committed to its full implementation, and demanded Israel to honor its commitments and stop its destructive aggression in southern Lebanon.

During the meeting with Sejourne, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib also underlined the importance of implementing Resolution 1701 to achieve stability.

The resolution was adopted in August 2006 to seek a full cessation of hostilities shortly after a month of deadly warfare between Israel and Hezbollah ended with a fragile truce.

Tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border escalated on October 8, 2023, following a barrage of rockets launched by the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah toward Israel in solidarity with Hamas’ attack on Israel the day before. Israel then retaliated by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

 

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