SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 June 2024, Thursday |

U.S. State Department: Hezbollah’s rejection of UNIFIL mandate “reveals its true nature.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State stated that “Hezbollah’s rejection of the UNIFIL mandate is the latest in a series of events that demonstrate that Hezbollah is more interested in its own interests and the interests of its patron Iran than in the well-being and welfare of the Lebanese people.”

The United Nations Security Council is preparing to vote on the renewal of the mandate for the international emergency forces operating in southern Lebanon, “UNIFIL,” amid Hezbollah’s opposition to the amendment introduced last year to the mission, which allows the international emergency forces to “carry out their missions independently.”
The spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry emphasized in an nterview with “Al-Hurra” that “the United States remains committed to the UNIFIL mission and to the safety and security of the United Nations peacekeeping forces.” She pointed out that “the independence and freedom of movement of UNIFIL are two crucial elements in its ability to fulfill its mission, as stipulated in the Agreement on the Deployment of Forces between UNIFIL and Lebanon, which has been in effect since 1995.”

The spokesperson, who preferred not to disclose her name, stated that “while the language added to the 2022 mandate did not grant UNIFIL any additional authorities, it reaffirmed the international community’s commitment to UNIFIL’s freedom of movement and access to areas of concern, which remains essential for mitigating instability along the Blue Line.”
The spokesperson reiterated the “call for Lebanese authorities to ensure the freedom of movement and access for UNIFIL and to hold accountable those responsible for obstructing its mandate implementation and threatening the safety of United Nations peacekeeping forces.”

On Monday, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, warned against extending the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in its current proposed format before the United Nations Security Council, a format that the Lebanese government rejects, according to Agence France-Presse.

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