Frattini: UNIFIL’s Mission Should Change if Hizbullah Became Hostile over Syria’s Weakness


Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini revealed on Thursday that his country agreed with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to propose imposing strict sanctions against Syrian military and intelligence officials responsible for the violence against Syrian protestors.

He said that the proposal will be made before the European Union.

Frattini told il Foglio Italian newspaper that the crisis in Syria may have a major effect on Hizbullah and Hamas’ activity.

“Hizbullah may become more hostile if it felt that Syria has grown weaker and in that case the United Nation Interim Force in Lebanon’s mandate must be changed,” he said.

“The role Syria is playing with Hizbullah may cost UNIFIL one of the reasons of its existence in southern Lebanon,” he continued.

Frattini stressed that he will highlight these issues before the European Union’s foreign ministry council in mid-May.

“UNFIL has played a good role in settling the crisis in Lebanon after 2006 and it can act as a deterrent force in any new conflict in the region,” the Italian official stated.