Fri, 03 Dec 2021

BEIRUT, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chief of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Stefano Del Col, urged on Monday the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israeli Defense Forces to respect the sanctity of the Blue Line in furtherance of peace and stability.

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

"For over a decade now, the iconic blue barrels have helped avoid incidents that could become flashpoints for misunderstanding and conflict," Del Col was quoted as saying by a statement released by the UNIFIL.

"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 published by the United Nations in 2000.

Del Col stressed the importance of peacekeeping for creating a space in which political and diplomatic solutions can take root, while working independently and impartially.

"We have to redouble our efforts to create space for a political and diplomatic solution, and a permanent ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel," he said, adding that "in the meantime, and as a step in that direction, we should firm up the Blue Line arrangement as the essential deconfliction tool."

Del Col praised the dedication of peacekeepers and the commitment of the parties who contributed to 15 years of relative stability on the borders.

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