This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at marietje.schaake@ep.europa.eu

MEP: "Fill in mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon

Marietje
Dutch Member of European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) calls on EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to push for filling in the current mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Schaake: “The war in Syria is increasingly destabilising Lebanon. Along the Northern Lebanese-Syrian border violent incidents are taking place more frequently, mostly between members of Hezbollah and the Syrian opposition.” Schaake says the conflict risks to spill over into Lebanon: “The Lebanese army is forced to move troops from the south of the country to the north. This gives Hezbollah more room to act in an from Lebanon”, says Schaake. UNIFIL The UN peacekeeping force, UNIFIL, has been on the ground in Lebanon since 1978. After the war between Israel en Hezbollah in 2006, its mandate was broadened. The UN soldiers cooperate with the Lebanese security forces to preserve stability and peace in the country, but they are not allowed to use force. Schaake: “Although they serve a strict peacekeeping mission, the mandate encompasses 15,000 soldiers. Currently, there are around 11,000 UN troops in country. We should at least make full use of the available scope. That would benefit the stability of Southern Lebanon and allows the international community to send a clear message to Hezbollah.” Support Schaake made her call to Ashton via written questions under a priority procedure. She also asked Ashton to work together with the European Ministers of Foreign Affairs to explore how the European Union could support the Lebanese army. Schaake: “A solution to the conflict in Syria is not in sight, but we need to do everything we can to prevent it from spilling over into Lebanon or other countries in the Middle-East. That would be a complete catastrophe, which is in nobody’s interest. Last month, Schaake, together with many colleagues, also called for more aid and support for refugees in Lebanon in a letter to Ashton. ----------- For more information: Marietje Schaake +31 6 3037 7921 Or her press officer Anna Sophia Posthumus +32 484 201 518