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UNIFIL hopes Israel, Lebanon will restart border demarcation talks

KAFR KILA, LEBANON - MAY 15: Lebanese gather to stage a demonstration in support of Palestinians and to protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip, on May 15, 2021 in Kafr Kila village in Southern Lebanon on the Israeli border. ( Houssam Shbaro - Anadolu Agency )
Lebanese gather to stage a demonstration in support of Palestinians and to protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip, on May 15, 2021 in Kafr Kila village in Southern Lebanon on the Israeli border [Houssam Shbaro - Anadolu Agency]

Chief of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Stefano Del Col, yesterday urged Lebanon and Israel to restart talks on the demarcation of their maritime borders soon, news agencies reported.

"We have to redouble our efforts to create space for a political and diplomatic solution, and a permanent ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel," Del Col said, according to Anadolu.

Del Col's remarks came during a celebration held at UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura, southern Lebanon, on the occasion of United Nations Day.

The official went on to call for the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israeli occupation forces to respect the sanctity of the Blue Line for further peace and stability.

READ: The Lebanese people are living in terror

"For over a decade now, the iconic Blue Barrels have helped avoid incidents that could become flashpoints for misunderstanding and conflict," he said in a statement released following the celebration.

"By setting aside differences to engage constructively on resolving contentions, marking the remaining parts of the Blue Line and avoiding unilateral action, we can avoid this risk," he added.

The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel established by the United Nations in 2000.

Del Col also said: "We should firm up the Blue Line arrangement as the essential deconfliction tool."

It is worth noting that indirect talks on the demarcation of maritime borders between Israel and Lebanon kicked off in October 2020.

Five rounds of talks, mediated by the US and brokered by the UN, were held, with the last taking place in May.

READ: Lebanon's Hezbollah warns Israel against drilling in disputed maritime border area

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