Lebanon, Israel urged to respect Blue Line


Beirut, Oct 26 : A top UN official has urged the ebanese Armed Forces and the Israeli Defense Forces to respect the sanctity of the Blue Line, a border demarcation between the two nations published by the world body in 2000, in furtherance of peace and stability. The remarks by Stefano Del Col, chief of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), came during a celebration held at the mission's headquarters in Naqoura on the occasion of the UN Day, Xinhua news agency reported. "For over a decade now, the iconic blue barrels have helped avoid incidents that could become flashpoints for misunderstanding and conflict," Del Col said in a statement. "By setting aside differences to engage constructively on resolving contentions, marking the remaining parts of the Blue Line and avoiding unilateral action, we can avoid this risk," he added. Del Col stressed the importance of peacekeeping for creating a space in which political and diplomatic solutions can take root, while working independently and impartially. "We have to redouble our efforts to create space for a political and diplomatic solution, and a permanent ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel," he said, adding that "in the meantime, and as a step in that direction, we should firm up the Blue Line arrangement as the essential de-confliction tool". Del Col praised the dedication of peacekeepers and the commitment of the parties who contributed to 15 years of relative stability on the borders. /IANS


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