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Cumartesi, Temmuz 13, 2024

UN CHIEF: Lebanon Must Not Turn Into Another Gaza

Mutlaka Oku

By Janet Ekstract NEW YORK – On Friday, at a U.N. press conference, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Let’s be clear: The people of the region and the people of the world cannot afford Lebanon to become another Gaza.” Guterres expressed his deepest concern about the Middle East conflict with both Israel and Hezbollah trading threats for an “all out war.” The U.N. chief is calling on both sides to “urgently recommit” to the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 and immediately halt the hostilities between both sides. Meanwhile, Guterres said: “UN peacekeepers, UNIFIL are on the ground working to de-escalate tensions and help prevent miscalculation, in an extremely challenging environment.” Guterres added that the U.N. fully backs diplomatic efforts to end bloodshed, restore stability and avoid greater human suffering in the region.

The U.N. chief said his organization is “actively engaging” to promote peace, security and stability, following resolution 1701. He noted that people on both sides of the Blue Line have lost their lives, been driven out of their homes and jobs. The Blue Line is the demarcation point between Israeli and Lebanese armed forces. Guterres reiterated “there is no military solution.” Guterres highlighted it’s necessary to protect civilians and guarantee that children, journalists and medical workers are not targeted while making sure those displaced can return to their homes. As the U.N. chief expressed: “And we do so as we continue to press for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages and a real pathway to a two-State solution.” A resolution adopted in 2006 had been the catalyst for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah with the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon while establishing a demilitarized zone.

The issue is that Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to attack one of Israel’s prominent cities if Israel declares all-out war on Hezbollah. Hezbollah also threatened to attack Cyprus, as well with Guterres noting that the escalation in rhetoric on both sides needs to stop. As the U.N. leader said: “One rash move – one miscalculation – could trigger a catastrophe that goes far beyond the border, and frankly, beyond imagination.” He added that the world must call for an “immediate de-escalation,” which he said is “not only possible – it is essential.”

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