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France affirms diplomatic coordination with Lebanon toward de-escalation

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France confirmed Thursday that its diplomats are coordinating with Lebanon to work towards a de-escalation of the conflict in the region.

South of Lebanon and northern Israel  (border and roads © Mena Today 

France confirmed Thursday that its diplomats are coordinating with Lebanon to work towards a de-escalation of the conflict in the region.

A spokesperson for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters at the Quai d'Orsay that French officials are "pursuing their diplomatic efforts" in Lebanon, with the aim of "avoiding escalation in the region, which would be damaging for both Lebanon and Israel."

"In a context where exchanges of fire between Israel and [Hezbollah] are a daily occurrence, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Minister of the Armed Forces have made several visits to the region since Oct. 7 to call on all parties concerned to exercise restraint," the spokesperson said.

Last February, France proposed a three-stage de-escalation plan with the goal of achieving "a potential cease-fire" in southern Lebanon, and the full implementation of UN Resolution, drawn up in 2006 to bring an end to that year's war between Hezbollah and Israel.

The proposal also aims to relaunch, at a later stage, negotiations on the demarcation of the land border between the two countries. It is based on an agreement dating back to April 1996, and facilitates the creation of a monitoring commission involving the USA, France, Lebanon and Israel.

In response to this initiative, Lebanon called last Friday for the "full implementation" of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which put an end to the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.

Referring to a statement last Friday from the Lebanese government, which echoes calls for Resolution 1701 to be fully implemented, the Quai d'Orsay spokesperson said: "We welcome the positive reaction of the Lebanese authorities to our proposals for ending the crisis, and we are carefully studying their comments on these proposals."

"In close coordination with its partners, France will pursue its contacts to move towards a diplomatic solution that respects the sovereignty and security of both countries," he continued.

Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire on a nearly daily basis since Oct. 8, 2023, the day after the outbreak of war in Gaza. Since then, Hezbollah has repeatedly stressed that a cease-fire in Gaza is a precondition for halting its attacks on Israel.

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