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Secure borders, U.N. tells Lebanon

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- More than five years after Israel and Hezbollah halted fighting, there have been no concrete steps toward a permanent cease-fire, a U.N. envoy said.

Resolution 1701 secured a cease-fire in a 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. The measure calls on Hezbollah to disarm while reminding Israel of its obligation to respect Lebanon's sovereignty.

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There have been minor skirmishes and border incursions by the Israelis, though the region has been relatively peaceful since the 2006 war.

Robert Watkins, acting U.N. special envoy for Lebanon, said lingering border issues undermined a fragile peace in the region.

"We were very pleased with the overall stability that has taken place in the south in the last period," he said following meetings with Lebanese officials. He lamented, however, that there's been "no progress made towards a permanent cease-fire."

He called on Beirut to make sure its borders were secured, expressing concern over recent incursions by the Syrian military.

Lebanese news outlet Naharnet reported in October that Syrian forces crossed into Lebanese territory and killed a 41-year-old Syrian national.

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