Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hizbullah Serves Warning to UNIFIL in Lebanon

Beirut, 17 Apr 08

The Hizbullah-led opposition on Thursday warned against amending UNIFIL's (1) rules of engagement, saying that would change it into "occupation forces."
The stand was outlined in a statement issued after a meeting by representatives of factions allied within the Hizbullah-led opposition.

The opposition "warns against any change or amendment of UNSCR 1701, especially the rules of engagement that set UNIFIL's jurisdiction and its relation with the Lebanese Army," the statement said.

"Any amendment would give the international forces the jurisdiction to use force and erect checkpoints outside its area of deployment," the statement added.

"That would transcend on the Lebanese Army's authorities, and would change these forces' mandate from observing implementation of resolution 1701 to occupation forces." The statement added without further elaboration on the remark.

The opposition also criticized the ongoing visit to Lebanon by U.S. Undersecretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch, saying it aims at "blocking settlements … and dialogue between the opposition and pro-government factions."

The statement also denounced the recent visit to Qatar by Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and said it was an effort to cover up "for the massacres committed in Gaza." (Source)

(1) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon


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