Photo: AP
Nabih Berri
Photo: AP

Beirut official: Talks may raise tensions

Lebanon's parliament speaker warns Mideast peace talks might spark tension on northern border, clashes in Palestinian refugee camps

Lebanon's parliament speaker warned on Wednesday that the relaunched Middle East peace talks could raise tensions on the border with Israel and ignite clashes in Palestinian refugee camps.


"These talks will no doubt cover (Palestinian) refugees, water and oil in the region," speaker Nabih Berri said in a statement.


"All of this may... ignite clashes inside Lebanon's refugee camps and affect security in the south," said Berri, an ally of Lebanon's Islamic militant Hezbollah movement that opposes the peace negotiations.


Lebanon has not issued an official reaction to relaunched peace talks in Washington last week that marked the first direct negotiations in 20 months between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.


They are due to meet again on September 14 in Egypt in a series of meetings to be held every two weeks that negotiators hope will lead to a final peace agreement within a year.


The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) estimates Lebanon today houses 400,000 Palestinians, but Lebanese officials estimate a figure of 300,000.


A dispute over a patch of trees last month ignited a border clash between Lebanese and Israeli troops that killed two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist as well as a senior Israeli officer. 



פרסום ראשון: 09.08.10, 23:28
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