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Lebanon urges France to stand firm against Israel

16 February 2010 0:43

Lebanon’s parliament speaker Nabih Berri has urged France to take a firm stance against Israeli aggression on his country.

During talks with the president of France’s senate, Gerard Larcher, Berri said Beirut demands Paris to prevent Israel from turning Lebanon into an arena for regional proxy wars and to ensure the security of the entire Middle East.

“In view of its ties and influence, we demand France take a firm stand to prevent Israel from attacking Lebanon,” Berri said.

Berri’s statement came amid increasing concerns in Lebanon over Israeli threats against Beirut.

Syria last month gave its word to stand by Lebanon’s side in the event of an Israeli attack.

Several Israeli officials have recently stepped up their war rhetoric against other regional countries including Lebanon.

Yossi Peled, an Israeli cabinet minister and a former army general who has experienced the conflict on the northern border, said on Saturday, January 23, that another confrontation with Hezbollah was almost inevitable but he could not say when it would happen.

The minister without portfolio said that according to his “estimation, understanding and knowledge,” it was “almost clear” to him that another conflict on the border with Lebanon was imminent.

“It does not necessary have to be between us and Hezbollah, other elements may be involved in this,” Peled said.

Israel waged a war against Lebanon in 2006, during which more than 1,200 — mostly Lebanese civilians — were killed. Israel was forced to withdraw from the Lebanese territories after 33 days, failing to achieve any of its objectives.

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