Ambassadors of 6 major countries sounded the alarm Friday over President Michel Aoun’s latest statements about Hezbollah’s arms, amid threats that the the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon or UNIFIL could withdraw its peacekeeping mission from south Lebanon, according to a report by MTV
A meeting was held on February 15 at the United Nations headquarters in Yarze. It included ambassadors of the International Support Group for Lebanon, the US, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and China in addition to the EU ambassador and Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Lebanon and Arab League Representative, MTV said.
According to information obtained by MTV, the meeting addressed three main issues: The upcoming parliamentary elections and the new electoral law, the security situation in Lebanon including backing the Lebanese Army, the International Brussels Conference on the Syrian crisis and the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The ambassadors stressed the need to abide by UN resolution 1701
Talks highlighted the latest statement of Aoun during an official visit to Egypt, during which they said does not abide by resolution 1701, but merely reflects visions of a single Lebanese party.
They agreed to have talks with Lebanese defense minister and other officials prompting the need to respect the resolution, since a failed approach affects international assistance for the army mainly from Saudi Arabia and the US.
The Chinese ambassador has pointed out to lack of harmony between the President’s stance and the Prime Minister’s, said MTV.
The Italian ambassador stated that Aoun’s rhetoric does not benefit the Lebanese cause.
The US ambassador has however, revealed a tendency to pull the UNIFIL forces from southern Lebanon if the country does not abide by international conventions.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 was intended to resolve the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. The resolution called for disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon (implying Hezbollah) and no armed forces other than UNIFIL will be south of the Litani River