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EU foreign policy chief warns against Lebanon getting dragged into conflict

1 min

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell sounded the alarm on Saturday about Lebanon being dragged into a regional conflict in a spillover from Israel's war with Hamas.

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, an ally of Hezbollah, met with the European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Beirut on January 6, 2024, according to Reuters.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell sounded the alarm on Saturday about Lebanon being dragged into a regional conflict in a spillover from Israel's war with Hamas.

Borrell, speaking during a visit to Lebanon, said it was imperative to avoid a regional escalation in the Middle East, and warned Israel that "nobody will win from a regional conflict".

He was commenting at a new conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati following talks with top government officials to discuss events in and around Gaza, including the impact of the war and the situation at the Israeli-Lebanese border.

"We are seeing a worrying intensification of exchange of fire across the Blue Line," Borrell said. 

The current demarcation line between the two countries is known as the Blue Line, a frontier mapped by the United Nations that marks the line to which Israeli forces withdrew when they left south Lebanon in 2000.

Hezbollah has been launching daily attacks on Israeli territory, a situation that has escalated tensions in the region. 

The militant Shiite group has consistently ignored United Nations Resolution 1701, which explicitly prohibits the presence of fighters and weaponry near the Israeli-Lebanese border. 

The Lebanese government has faced criticism for its perceived inaction in curbing Hezbollah's activities. 

Many argue that the real decision-making power lies in Tehran rather than Beirut, which complicates efforts to control the situation. 

Despite international pressure, Hezbollah remains a dominant force in Lebanon's political landscape.

Reporting by Maya Gebeily; Writing by Adam Makary; Editing by Frances Kerry, with Mena Today 

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