Report: Paris tells Lebanon Gaza truce before end of month
The latest visits to Lebanon and Israel by French diplomatic, military and security delegations aimed to reach a blueprint for settling the situation on the Lebanese-Israeli border, a media report said on Monday.
“The French stressed (to Lebanese officials) that they had received assurances from Washington that the Gaza truce agreement is imminent and will not be delayed beyond the end of the current month,” al-Akhbar newspaper reported.
A Lebanese diplomatic source told the daily that “Lebanon has received from the French a security proposal that requires long discussions.”
“Its content is based on the content of the April 1996 agreement that had called for no attacks on civilians by the two sides and it includes measures on both sides of the border and not only on the Lebanese side,” the source added.
French diplomats meanwhile told French daily Le Monde that Paris wants to “separate the Lebanese issue from the situation in the Gaza Strip.”
“It has presented a proposal that calls for quick measures to end the clashes,” Le Monde added, noting that the French foreign minister had submitted the suggestion to Lebanese officials last Tuesday, after it was “discussed with Israel during a visit by representatives of the foreign and defense ministries.”
The proposal calls for “measures that contribute to gradual pacification, such as Hezbollah’s withdrawal of its fighters to a depth ranging from 8 to 10 kilometers from the border, a distance equivalent to the range of its anti-tank missiles, the pullback of the Radwan force, and Hezbollah’s refrainment from rebuilding the bases and observation posts that were destroyed by the Israeli army after October 8,” Le Monde said.
It added that France is working on a new program for supporting the Lebanese Army in order to deploy further forces on the border, noting that French army chief Thierry Burkhard had visited Beirut on Friday.
Al-Akhbar meanwhile said the French side has discussed with the Army Command the possibility of sending more than 10,000 soldiers to the border and heard that “there is no material capability to carry out this mission.”
Informed sources also told the Lebanese newspaper that Israel “will not be able to start a war with Lebanon” and that the latest threats “are only aimed at improving the conditions of negotiations.”