US envoy urges to de-escalate Lebanese-Israeli border tensions

Beirut, June 19 (IANS) US envoy Amos Hochstein has called for urgent de-escalation in cross-border fire exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel, the media reported.

During his visit to Beirut, Hochstein said on Tuesday that it is in everyone’s interest to resolve the conflict along the blue line between Israel and Hezbollah quickly and diplomatically, noting it is “both achievable and urgent”.

Hochstein’s remarks came following his meeting with Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri, with whom he discussed a potential deal on Gaza with Israel, Xinhua news agency reported.

The US envoy also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who said that “Lebanon does not seek escalation, and what is required is to stop the ongoing Israeli aggression against Lebanon and return to calm and stability on the southern border”.

Hochstein said that “a ceasefire in Gaza or an alternative diplomatic solution could also bring the conflict across the Blue Line to an end”.

Tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border escalated on October 8, 2023, following a barrage of rockets launched by the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah toward Israel in solidarity with Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.

Israel then retaliated by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.



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