Lebanon: More Talks on Final Israeli Withdrawl
Lebanon: UN Commander Holds More Talks on Securing Final Israeli Withdrawal
New York, Dec 11 2006 2:00PM
The head of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon today held yet further “productive” talks with senior Lebanese and Israeli officers aimed at securing Israel’s full withdrawal from the last position it occupies in the south of the country after the war with Hizbollah earlier this year.
“Progress has been made on this issue, and I hope that this will help pave the way for the full withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanese territory,” UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Force Commander Major-General Alain Pellegrini said after the meeting, referring to the Israeli Defence Forces.
He described the talks, which have been going on for two months over Israel’s withdrawal from the northern sector of Ghajar village that is located inside Lebanese territory, as constructive and productive.
A complete Israeli withdrawal, together with Lebanese army deployment in southern Lebanon, is a key clause in Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended 34 days of fighting in August and mandates strengthening UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops. Current strength is at about 10,500 on the ground and patrolling the coastline against arms smuggling.