| 17 July 2024, Wednesday |

New demands for UNIFIL extension “raise concerns”

Well-informed diplomatic sources fear that the Kahala incident and the assassination that preceded it of the leader of the Lebanese Forces in Ain Abel will reflect on the international position regarding the extension of the operating force in the south to implement Resolution 1701 “UNIFIL”, and the Security Council will convene to extend the force on August 31, because the force’s mandate also expires on this date, and it is assumed that the extension is for a year, as Lebanon requested from the United Nations.

The fear comes specifically from the new international conditions that may occur to this file, especially since the recent events and the association of “Hezbollah” with it and accusing him of not respecting Resolution 1701 and the authority of the state, as it takes an important part in the international discussion, far from the limelight, especially since countries consider what happened recently in Lebanon to be completely similar to the assassination of the Irish soldier in the south about eight months ago. Which is what annoyed the states.

It is also disturbed by the obstacles to electing a new president for the country and the continuation of the vacancy for this position, over a period of 9 months, and what leads to the dissolution of the state, the shake-up of the security situation, the lack of political consensus, in addition to the economic collapse. Which will be reflected in the tone of the UNIFIL extension decision, while the Lebanese diplomacy is striving with all its efforts to return the content of the extension decisions to the content of the basic resolution, i.e. 1701.

The sources indicate that what the party is doing in terms of transferring weapons is not new, just as there are countries that reject this, and others that turn a blind eye to it, as is well known. However, this has political repercussions on the position of the international community on the party, and it is evident in all the Lebanese events at the international level, such as the extension of UNIFIL.

Consequently, there is great international pressure in the negotiations that Lebanon will engage in.

Lebanon, in its mandate, does not want to put pressure on “UNIFIL” through its desire to continue the movement of this force in prior coordination with the Lebanese army, noting that the army is not ready to deploy in the south, and the gradual withdrawal of “UNIFIL” in order to reduce the budget for the United Nations. The states also say that UNIFIL carries out 500 patrols per day, and the demand for its liberation from the army, because it cannot logistically meet all the patrols with it. The sources indicate that this is not only logistical, but behind it is a political background that is not hidden from anyone.

And the sources pointed out that France is the “pen holder” for Lebanon in the Security Council, and its role will be in the middle, as it will round the corners between Lebanon on the one hand, and the “extremist” countries in their proposals.

It will emphasize the measures that can be implemented on the ground, while avoiding an additional problem for Lebanon, which is floundering in its various crises. It is not necessary to put Lebanon in an additional crisis that threatens security and stability in the south and the region.


  • Sawt Beirut International