UN urges Lebanon, Israel to hold talks to resolve outstanding issues

Beirut, Jun 9 (IANS): The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has urged Beirut and Israel to hold talks to address outstanding issues.

"I continue to appeal for engagement in Blue Line talks to address outstanding issues. Our efforts need to be forward-looking and focused on solutions, getting beyond the immediate incidents and looking at how we resolve them," said UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lazaro.

He made the remarks during a regular tripartite meeting held at the UN outpost in Ras al-Naqoura, one day after Israel began bulldozing agricultural land owned by Lebanese in the occupied Kfarchouba Hills, reports Xinhua news agency.

"During the last couple of months, there have been several concerning developments along the Blue Line," Lazaro said, calling on the parties "to continue to avail of our liaison and coordination mechanisms while avoiding unilateral actions."

The Lebanese army, in a statement issued on Thursday, said the tripartite meeting discussed Israel's repeated attacks on Lebanon and its continuous violations of Lebanese sovereignty by land, sea and air.

According to the statement, the army held the Israeli enemy responsible for the consequences of these attacks, calling on the UN to exert maximum pressure to stop them.

The Lebanese side also reaffirmed the country's commitment to UN resolutions, particularly the UN Resolution 1701 and its provisions, stressing the need for Israel to withdraw from all the occupied Lebanese territories.

On April 6, Lebanon and Israel exchanged fire after the Israeli police forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem's Old City, firing gas canisters and stun grenades at Palestinian worshipers.

It was one of the worst rocket attacks on northern Israel since the 2006 full-fledged war between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group.



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Title: UN urges Lebanon, Israel to hold talks to resolve outstanding issues

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