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Security Council renews UN force for Lebanon by another year

(Xinhua)

10:23, August 31, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) by another year.

In an adopted resolution, the 15-nation Council "decides to extend the present mandate of UNIFIL until Aug. 31, 2012." The current mandate was set to expire on Aug. 31.

The resolution also requested UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to conduct before the end of the year, a strategic review of UNIFIL to ensure that the mission is "configured most appropriately to fulfill its mandated tasks."

It also strongly "called upon all parties concerned to respect the cessation of hostilities, to prevent any violation of the Blue line."

The resolution urged all parties to make "tangible progress towards a permanent cease-fire," calling on the government of Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar without further delay in coordination with UNIFIL.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brought an end to the war between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, prohibits storing weapons in the security zone between the Litani River and the Blue Line, which is the Lebanese- Israeli border. The area is under the observation of UNIFIL.

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