| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

Is it in any party’s best interests to alter the “status quo” in the south?

Prominent diplomatic sources came to a halt a few days ago when the Security Council passed a resolution renewing the mandate of the multinational force operating in the south, “UNIFIL,” following tough discussions. They indicated to Sawt Beirut International that there are several difficulties that need to be addressed, including:

-First: No internal or international party has an interest in changing the rules of the game in the south and on the border with Israel. Since the stability established by the presence of this force. No party, whether Lebanese or foreign, has any interest in “messing up” this status quo that has prevailed for 17 years now. Indeed, this climate is being used to resolve some issues, as happened in maritime demarcation, and what may occur in terms of a possible solution to controversial points at the land border level through the same American mediation.

The nations participating in UNIFIL recognize the need of their forces working in the south under calm and understanding conditions, because failing to do so exposes their soldiers and their safety to risk, which is what causes them anxiety. It recognizes the significance of the current state of stability.

According to the sources, although Lebanon is unable to change anything in the text of the new resolution regarding the extension of UNIFIL, in terms of freedom of movement, nothing will change on the ground, and coordination between UNIFIL and the Lebanese army will remain in place, especially since the army is a comprehensive institution with high worldwide regard that cannot be circumvented by international power, resulting in its freedom of movement.

The abstention of Russia and China together from voting in addition to the new resolution carries within it a political significance, indicating the unacceptance of any changes on the ground, and the failure to expose the existing “status quo” to any risks.

Lebanon refuses to transfer the problem between Lebanon and Israel to a problem between “UNIFIL” and the incubating environment of “Hezbollah” or the so-called residents, despite the fact that Lebanon is well aware of this, and even seeks to prevent problems between the two parties, despite what this requires.

In order to mitigate the risk of such measures being taken, the army will continue to be a source of safety and assurance for all parties, sources confirm.

  • Sawt Beirut International