The Weekend Leader - Lebanese Prez calls for extension of UNFIL mandate

Lebanese Prez calls for extension of UNFIL mandate



Photo: IANS

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has called for the extension of the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) which is expected to end on August 31

In a statement issued here on Thursday, Aoun noted that Lebanon aims to extend the UNIFIL's mandate without any modification to its mission and the number of peacekeepers, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The UNIFIL has played an important role, in cooperation with the Lebanese army, in preserving peace and stability in southern Lebanon since 2006," he said.

The President's remarks came during his meeting with the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka.

Aoun hoped to see an immediate resumption of indirect talks for the demarcation of maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel which would fall in the interest of the concerned parties.

Wronecka said the UN Security Council will convene on July 22 to discuss the political, social and economic developments in Lebanon.

Originally, the UNIFIL was created by the Security Council in March 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area.

The mandate had to be adjusted twice, due to the developments in 1982 and 2000.

Following the July/August 2006 crisis, the Council enhanced the Force and decided that in addition to the original mandate, it would, among other things, monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.

Currently, there are a total of 10,519 UNFIL personnel deployed in Lebanon.-IANS

Milky Mist Cheese