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Reducing activity. UNIFIL forces
Photo: AP
Erdogan and Hariri in Ankara
Photo: Reuters

Report: UNIFIL limits patrols along border

Newspaper affiliated with Hezbollah says UN forces reducing activity in south of country due to impending political crisis

The United Nations is reducing its presence in southern Lebanon following the impending political crisis: Lebanese daily al-Akhabar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, reported Friday that UNIFIL forces have limited their patrols along the southern border with Israel, fearing a looming civil strife.

 

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is scheduled to return to his country later on Friday, after meeting US President Barack obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

During Hariri's meeting with Obama in Washington, 10 Hezbollah ministers announced their resignation, leading to a collapse of the government.

 

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu commented on the simmering tensions, saying "Lebanon's stability is very important to the stability of the region. We regard all Lebanese people as friends of Turkey."

 

Erdogan and Hariri did not hold a press conference following their meeting in Ankara on Friday.

 

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which was formed to investigate the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, is expected to submit its findings in the near future.

 

According to estimates, the tribunal members will assign responsibly for the assassination to members of Hezbollah and issue international indictments against them.

 

In an effort to step up pressure on Hariri the son, the Hezbollah ministers announced their resignation during the Lebanese prime minister's meeting with Obama in Washington, turning the Beirut coalition into a transitional government.

 

The opposition members issued Hariri an ultimatum, saying he would be able to keep his seat only if he succumbs to Hezbollah's demands and immediately cease all cooperation with the UN tribunal.

 

Meanwhile, efforts to calm spirits in Lebanon continued. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday promised that his organization will not drag the country into civil war.

 

Shortly after his speech, two hand grenades were hurled at the headquarters of the Christian Free Patriotic Movement, led by Retired General Michel Aoun, who is regarded as Hezbollah's ally.

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 01.14.11, 13:39
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