Photo Credit: Irish Defence Forces via Flickr
Irish UNIFIL troops in crowd riot control training

High ranking officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday conducted a briefing for foreign ambassadors ahead of the upcoming Security Council debate of the implementation of resolution 1701 scheduled for Thursday.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 was intended to resolve the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. It was approved unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council on August 11 2006, then, within three days, by the Lebanese government, Hezbollah, and Israel.

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The UN 2015 report on the situation at the Israeli-Lebanese border states: “The situation in the area of operations of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and along the Blue Line remained generally calm, despite the tense regional context and following the serious breach of the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel on January 28. Overall, despite escalatory rhetoric on both sides, the Lebanese and Israeli authorities displayed resolve to maintain calm along the Blue Line, continued to engage constructively with UNIFIL through the established liaison and coordination arrangements and reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006). There was no progress, however, on their outstanding obligations under the resolution and no movement towards a permanent ceasefire.”

A whole lot has happened along that border in the past two years, and so the MFA briefing conveyed the current reality in southern Lebanon, in an attempt to encourage contributing countries to UNIFIL to support a more determined and effective implementation by UNIFIL of its mandate.

According to the MFA, such action should be expressed both by increased and proactive presence of UNIFIL on the ground, as well as in the reports transmitted by UNIFIL to its headquarters in NY, reports that should properly and accurately portray reality in the area.

“The Security Council must not turn a blind eye to the growing Iranian influence in Lebanon and the extensive military build-up of Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon, as they pose a threat to the stability of the country,” an MFA statement said.

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