MADRID, April 8 (UPI) -- Lebanese leaders in Spain went on the defensive Thursday by saying that Israeli aggression was undermining efforts to bring security to the region.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with Spanish leaders in Madrid in an effort to promote bilateral ties.
Spain holds the rotating presidency at the European Union currently and commands the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, a peacekeeping force monitoring regional security.
Border tensions between Israel and Lebanon escalated in 2009, with both sides complaining of violations of a U.N.-backed cease-fire agreement.
Hariri told his Spanish counterpart Luis Rodriguez Zapatero that Israel must be told that its defensive posture in the region undermines efforts at finding "a political solution" to peace, Lebanon's Naharnet news portal quoted the prime minister as saying.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman told Qatari newspaper al-Watan that nobody in Lebanon would allow "harm" to come to "the resistance," a reference to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah, a Cabinet member in the Lebanese government, won assurances in 2009 that it could keep its weapons to deter an Israeli threat.
Lawmakers in Beirut are deflecting criticism over U.S. security arrangements for military aid. Hezbollah backers said the measure gives Washington the authority to spy on Lebanon.
Washington fears any military support for Lebanon, however, could wind up in the hands of Hezbollah, which is labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States.