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  Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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International conference on Lebanon will focus on deploying peacekeepers to the conflict zone
An international conference on Lebanon, to be held in Rome July 26, will focus on deploying peacekeepers to the conflict zone, Russia's foreign minister said Monday. Israel has carried out air strikes against targets in Lebanon and sent its troops into the country in a wave of violence that began July 12 when Islamic militant group Hizbollah captured two Israeli servicemen in a cross-border raid. Israel's attacks have left more than 350 Lebanese dead and displaced hundreds of thousands. Over 30 Israelis have also lost their lives. "A great deal is still unclear: how the forces will be set up, who will send contingents and what mandate they will have," Sergei Lavrov told a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin. The minister also said diplomatic efforts were being resumed. Lavrov said the conference would also touch upon a ceasefire, the release of hostages and prisoners of war and security measures in line with decisions reached at the July 15-17 Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg. Speaking about a proposal to deploy peacekeeping forces, Lavrov said Russia took the position that both sides in the conflict had to agree to any deployment and the UN Security Council had to approve a mandate for them. The foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well as representatives of the UN, European Union and the World Bank will attend the conference.
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