Report: U.S. Presses Israel on Lebanon to Preserve Status Quo before Vienna Talks
Washington and Paris quickly communicated with Lebanon and Israel to contain the latest flare-up between Hizbullah and Israel, a media report said on Sunday.
The U.S. and France were keen on preventing an additional burden on Lebanon’s “political, security and economic problems which are still delaying the government’s formation,” Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.
They believe that “any deterioration in the South will lead to further collapse” in Lebanon, whereas they are “working on halting it,” the daily added.
Moreover, a Western diplomatic source told Asharq al-Awsat that during the military standoff, President Michel Aoun dispatched an envoy to Hizbullah’s leadership, as the army sought to contain the domestic reactions that accompanied the interception of Hizbullah’s rocket launcher by some villagers.
“But the other factor that restored the situation in the South was that Washington exerted pressures on its ally, Israel’s prime minister, convincing him not to tamper with the rules of engagement, at least for the foreseeable future,” the source added.
“The U.S. administration is not in favor of a change to the status quo in the South ahead of the resumption of the Vienna negotiations (with Iran) in September,” the source went on to say.