The head of French diplomacy Stéphane Séjourné warned Beirut that Israel could trigger a war against Lebanon, which wants to avoid an escalation, the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.
The French minister met the main Lebanese leaders in Beirut, the last stop of a tour of the Middle East, which notably took him to Israel.
“He warned us that the Israelis could start a war (…) to bring home” the tens of thousands of residents evacuated from areas near the border with Lebanon, declared Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib .
“We told him that we did not want a war,” added the minister after an interview with his French counterpart. “We want an agreement on the border through the UN, the French and the Americans,” he added.
In nearly four months, 226 people, the majority Hezbollah fighters, have been killed in southern Lebanon according to an AFP count. On the Israeli side, 15 people were killed, according to the army.
Tens of thousands of residents on both sides of the border have had to abandon their homes.
On Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz told his French counterpart that “time is running out to find a diplomatic solution” in southern Lebanon.
“Israel will act militarily to bring back citizens evacuated from their homes” in the north of the country if no other solution is possible, he added.
This article is originally published on french.ahram.org.eg