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Lebanon: UN official confers with minister on ceasefire with Israel

7 October 2009 – A senior United Nations official today conferred with Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh on the need for a longer-term ceasefire in the south of the country, where Israel and Hizbollah fought a 34-day war in 2006.

“We are very pleased by the calm that has been restored in south Lebanon and by statements of commitment to the resolution from all sides concerned,” UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said, referring to Security Council resolution 1701, which called for a full cessation of hostilities and greatly increased the UN peacekeeping force in the conflict zone.

“However, the minister and I agreed that more needs to be done to move towards a longer term ceasefire which would help confirm this calm and stability that now prevails along the Blue Line [which separates the combatants].”

The two also discussed the “critical issues” of Israeli withdrawal from part of the village of Ghajar which lies north of the Blue Line, “constant intrusive” Israeli flights into Lebanese airspace, and the disputed Shebaa Farms area.

Mr. Williams and Mr. Salloukh also broached the issue of government formation in Lebanon, with the UN official voicing the “strong hope” that a national unity administration can be forged as soon as possible.



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