BEIRUT: Lebanon needs to uphold the “Baabda Declaration” – an agreement to keep Lebanon neutral from regional developments – particularly in light of recent reports of clashes between members of Hezbollah and Syrian rebels, U.N. Special Coordinator to Lebanon Derek Plumbly said Wednesday.
“In the context of recent reports, particularly with respect to activities near Lebanon’s eastern borders, I stressed the importance that the United Nations attaches to Lebanon’s sovereignty and integrity and to all political parties in Lebanon respecting the Baabda Declaration,” Plumbly told reporters after talks with the head of Kataeb Party.
The “Baabda Declaration,” an agreement between rival March 8 and March 14 leaders in 2012, calls for “keeping Lebanon away from the policy of regional and international conflicts and sparing it the negative repercussions of regional tensions and crises.”
Plumbly, according to a statement from his office, said abiding by the accord was “very important at this time.”
Last week, a Lebanese security source said three members of Hezbollah and 12 Syrian rebels were killed during battles in the Syrian town of Quseir, east of Lebanon’s border.
In 2012, Hezbollah said there were some 22 villages inside Syria that are populated mainly by Lebanese Shiites who have been involved in fighting with rebels. The party says the inhabitants of these villages acted only in self defense and not under any instructions from the resistance group.
Lebanon has adopted a policy of disassociation with regard to regional developments, particularly Syria.
Plumbly and the head of the Kataeb Party, former President Amin Gemayel, also discussed the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon.
They discussed the issue of refugees both from a humanitarian perspective and in terms of the challenge it presents to Lebanon and the assistance the U.N. is providing.