United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
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Paoli: Preserving Lebanon's Stability is Army's Role, France is an Assistance

French ambassador to Lebanon Patrice Paoli stated on Tuesday that the international agreement to preserve Lebanon's stability can only be achieved through Lebanon's army and security forces, As Safir daily reported.

“There is no such thing as an international umbrella and we have never said that. In reality there is an international understanding U.N. Security Council to preserve Lebanon's stability,” said Paoli in an interview to the daily.

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Italian FM Concerned over Baabda Vacuum, Says Lebanon Can Preserve Coexistence

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who is on an official visit to Beirut, has expressed concern over the presidential crisis in Lebanon.

“A commitment to elect a president concerns all the Lebanese,” Gentiloni told An Nahar daily in an interview published on Tuesday.

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Security Council to Extend UNIFIL Mandate after Cabinet Approval

The U.N. Security Council is set to extend the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon, al-Mustaqbal newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The daily said that during a session, which was held last Thursday, the cabinet approved a request made by Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil for a one-year extension of UNIFIL's mandate.

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U.S. Envoy Urges Lebanese 'Not to be Late' for Energy 'Party'

The U.S. Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs at the State Department has stressed that the solution to the exploration of Lebanon's offshore oil and gas lied in the hands of the Lebanese.

Amos Hochstein, who is currently on an official visit to Lebanon, told An Nahar daily in remarks published on Thursday that “it was time for Lebanon to issue oil decrees and start working.”

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Official: U.S. Airstrike Kills IS Operative in Iraq

A U.S. airstrike in northern Iraq has killed an Islamic State operative who was a person of interest in the 2012 Benghazi attack, the Pentagon said Monday.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said Ali Awni al-Harzi of Tunisia was killed in Mosul on June 15. 

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UNIFIL Commander Says Israel Obligated to Withdraw from Northern Section of Ghajar

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Commander Maj. Gen. Luciano Portolano stressed on Wednesday that Israel is obligated to withdraw from the northern section of the village of Ghajar, as well as the areas adjacent to the Blue Line in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolution 1701.

“Its presence in the area violates resolution 1701,” Portolano said in an interview with As Safir newspaper.

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President of Republic of Ireland Inspects Country’s Troops in UNIFIL

President of the Republic of Ireland Michael Higgins paid a visit on Tuesday to his country’s battalion operating in the framework of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) at its base in al-Tiri, Bint Jbeil district, where he was welcomed by UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Luciano Portolano.

Also present to receive the President were UNIFIL’s Irish Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin McCarthy, Minister of Defense Samir Moqbel, and Lebanese officials.

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Irish President to Arrive in Beirut on Sunday

Preparations are underway for a two-day visit by Irish President Michael D. Higgins, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Saturday.

A European diplomatic source told the daily that Higgins will arrive in Beirut on Sunday night on an official visit.

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King Felipe Inspects Spanish UNIFIL Contingent in Marjeyoun

Visiting Spanish King Felipe VI inspected on Wednesday his country's United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon contingent in the southern region of Marjeyoun, where Israeli artillery killed a Spanish peacekeeper in January.

He was accompanied by Defense Minister Samir Moqbel.

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Spanish Report: Israel Targeted U.N. Troops after Shebaa Attack

A confidential Spanish military report on the death of a Spanish U.N. peacekeeper in Israeli shelling in Lebanon said he was manning a post that appeared to have been targeted, a newspaper reported Sunday.

El Pais cited extracts from the report which drew on testimony from soldiers following the January 28 incident when the Israeli military shelled border areas following a Hizbullah attack that left two Israeli soldiers dead.

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