Violations of the cease-fire can trigger the conflict between Lebanon and Israel, says the UN

The US Security Council warned Thursday that violations of the cease-fire agreement between Lebanon and Israel could lead to a new conflict and urge the international fight for the Lebanese armed forces and their more intensive deployment in the South and at sea.

The Council's warning against "a new conflict that none of the parties or the region can afford" came in a resolution unanimously adopted to extend the mandate of the peace force in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL until 31 August 2019.

Council members urged & # 39; all parties & # 39; to "exercise maximum calm and restraint and to refrain from any action or rhetoric that could endanger the cessation of hostilities or destabilize the region."

UNIFIL was originally established to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli forces after an invasion of 1978. The mission was extended after a 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah militants so that peacekeepers along the Lebanon-Israeli border could be deployed to Lebanese troops to help expand their authority in the south of their country for the first time in decades.

The French resolution again urged all countries to maintain an arms embargo from 2006 and to prevent the sale or supply of weapons to a person or entity in Lebanon that is not authorized by the government or UN force known as UNIFIL – an implicit criticism of the suppliers of weapons to Hezbollah.

Israel and Lebanon are still technically at war and the resolution reiterates the Council's appeal to Israel and Lebanon to "support a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution." The Council also emphasized "the need for an effective and sustainable deployment of the Lebanese armed forces in southern Lebanon and the territorial waters of Lebanon at an accelerated pace." It called for UNIFIL, which deployed more than 10,000 troops in South Lebanon, and the Lebanese army to analyze the land troops and maritime assets of the country.

The Council also called on the Lebanese government "to develop a plan to increase its naval capabilities … with the ultimate goal of reducing the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force and transferring its responsibilities to the Lebanese armed forces."

The French delegate U.N. Ambassador Anne Gueguen stressed that "only the presence of the Lebanese state and its armed forces will guarantee security … and will create the conditions for lasting stability in southern Lebanon and along territorial waters."

The Security Council also commented on the current political situation in Lebanon.

Almost four months after the country held its first general election in nine years, politicians still argue about the formation of a new government amid uncertainty about a long stagnating economy, struggling businesses and concerns about the currency.

The Security Council welcomed the holding of elections and the progress of the country towards reactivating government institutions, and called for the formation of a new Lebanese government "without further delay".

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