Lebanon, Syria Accuse Israel of Hindering UN Deployment in Lebanon
Lebanon and Syria accused Israel on Saturday of hindering the deployment of UN troops in southern Lebanon and hurting the Middle East peace process at the Camp David summit.
Syrian President Bashar Assad and Lebanese President Emile Lahoud spoke on the telephone and agreed that "Israel impedes the peace process, along with the deployment of UNIFIL by continuing its violations" of the Lebanese-Israeli border.
Experts with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and their Lebanese counterparts have been meeting for the past week to eliminate Israeli violations of the "blue line," which the United Nations drew to mark Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon in May after a 22-year occupation.
On Friday, UNIFIL units from Ghana and Ireland went to the Lebanese border villages of Manara and Yaroun to try to eliminate Israeli incursions. Lebanese experts are to travel to the sites Saturday afternoon.
A UNIFIL spokesman said Friday that the UN force had been deployed in south Lebanon, but the Lebanese government, which needs to authorize such a move, has not announced a deployment.
Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Hoss repeated accusations Saturday against Israel, which he said "through its incursions of the border continues to prevent UNIFIL from performing from its task, as it has done since 1978," the year of the Israeli invasion - BEIRUT (AFP)
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