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U.N. peacekeeping chief arrives in Beirut

May 15, 2013 at 11:40 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 15 (UPI) -- A relative sense of calm along a U.N.-demarcated boundary between Israel and Lebanon is a sign of multilateral support for peace, a U.N. official said.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous met in Lebanon with President Michel Suleiman and Lebanese military leader Jean Kahwaji in Beirut to discuss the country's security challenges.

Ladsous said he had assurances from Lebanese authorities that they were committed to supporting U.N. efforts to safeguard Lebanon.

He said relative calm along the so-called Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon was symbolic of the partnership between Lebanese forces and U.N. peacekeepers.

"I had the opportunity to see on the ground how the two forces are working together and I was very impressed by their resolve and unflinching commitment to Resolution 1701," he said.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 brought an end to a 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. It calls on Hezbollah to disarm and reminds Israel of its obligation to respect Lebanon's sovereignty.

Lebanese officials said a recent Israeli airstrike on Syrian targets emanated from Lebanese airspace. Last month, the U.S. Security Council said stability from a cease-fire enacted in the 1970s in the Golan Heights in southern Lebanon might deteriorate because of the Syrian civil war.

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