Report: Israel Rejects UNIFIL's Participation in Demarcation Talks, Tenenti Clarifiesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
In light of a US mediation between Lebanon and Israel over the border demarcation, Israel has reportedly “agreed” to the idea of demarcation but refused to involve the UNIFIL forces in said talks, the Saudi Ashraq al-Awsat daily reported on Tuesday.
Political sources familiar with the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield to Israel, said the “Israelis had agreed to the idea of border demarcation, but asked for clarification on some issues,” they told the daily.
They added: “Although the Israeli have shown a lenient position, but they still reject the participation of the UNIFIL forces operating in southern Lebanon in the demarcation of the maritime border. They demand direct negotiations between Lebanon and Israel with an American presence only. They reject the presence of the tripartite committee tasked with coordination and monitoring of the security situation on the land border.”
According to information, "the Israeli side believes the UNIFIL forces have no international mandate to sponsor the maritime border negotiations since there is no Security Council resolution on this matter,” added the daily.
On the other hand, UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti told al-Joumhouria daily that the “international forces had nothing to do with the demarcation of the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.”
“Its activities are limited by land Resolution 1701 between the Litani and the Blue Line,” said Tenenti, adding that the tripartite forum, which is held periodically under the auspices of the UNIFIL command, addresses all issues related to the demarcation of land borders and the Blue Line and violations of this line.
“UNIFIL hosting of Lebanese-Israeli talks to discuss the issue of maritime borders is outside the framework of Resolution 1701, such a thing is related to the United Nations in New York,” he concluded.