Lebanon’s top legislator has refused to meet with the United Nations special coordinator for Lebanon, and the commander of the world body’s peacekeepers, decrying their pro-Israeli bias.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said the UN representative Pernille Dahler Kardel “had crossed the line in her conduct” and was leaning more toward Israeli politics, speaking to local daily al-Joumhouria.
“When I met her a while back, I felt that she is more [in favor of] Israeli policy at the expense of our rights and borders. I brought it to her attention that she had committed to continue the policy of Sigrid Kaag, who held the position before her,” Berri said in the interview published on Friday.
“But she denied it, saying there was no audio recording to prove what I said,” said the head of the parliament and noted that he would likely not meet her ever again.
Berri said he had considered calling on the UN to remove the official from her post, but decided against the move in order not to pit Beirut against the international community. The official, however, has once been summoned over the country’s complaints about her conduct.
Separately, he declined to receive the outgoing UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Michael Beary, saying the latter had partaken in Israel’s “National Day” celebrations, and even congratulated Tel Aviv on the occasion.
Berri said the participation alone “did not suffice for Beary; he [also] tweeted, congratulating Israel on this occasion and disregarding that he is the head of UNIFIL in Lebanon,” the paper wrote.
Israel launched full-scale wars against Lebanon in 2000 and 2006. In both, the regime was forced to withdraw amid steadfast defense put up by the country’s Hezbollah resistance movement.
The countries are technically at war as Israel has kept Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms occupied since 1967.
Earlier in the year, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri said the regime “remains the primary threat to Lebanon.”