BEIRUT: Lebanon needs to uphold the Baabda Declaration and its policy of distancing the country from regional conflict, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said in remarks published Sunday.
In his remarks to An-Nahar daily, the French official said that all Lebanese sides should respect the agreement to keep Lebanon neutral from regional developments, referred to as the Baabda Declaration and endorsed by President Michel Sleiman.
The Baabda Declaration, signed by 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.”
The French official also said that his country supports the Lebanese authorities in their determination to maintain domestic security.
He added that all Lebanese powers should work together to safeguard Lebanon from the Syrian crisis, that has been going on for almost two years now.
France has repeatedly stressed the need for Lebanon to stay away from the Syrian crisis and all Lebanese powers must work to achieve that goal, Lalliot said.
There are fears Lebanon’s stability could be shaken by events in Syria, particularly following reports of Hezbollah members engaging in the conflict against Syrian opposition fighters.
Lebanon has also been affected by repeated cross-border shelling from Syria that has claimed the lives of many nationals and caused material damage and tension among residents.
The official also said his country is committed to completing its mission in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon that function along the borders.
According to Laillot, the presence of the international troops at such period of regional tension is essential to maintain stability in Lebanon.
UNIFIL is still playing a central role despite the difficulties it is facing, he stressed.