| 16.12,11. 04:12 AM |
Paris: Syria Must Respect Lebanon Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity
France called on Syria to “respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, one day after a Syrian patrol infiltrated the Lebanese town of Arsal.
“If confirmed, this incident would once again highlight the threat the Syrian regime’s oppressive policy poses to the stability of the region,” French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.
“Syrian authorities must respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Valero added.
On Wednesday, two Lebanese men were wounded in a cross-border raid in the Arsal area, which has witnessed deadly gunfire in recent months, a local official said.
"Syrian troops entered Lebanese territory today and opened fire on the village of Khirbat Daoud in Arsal," said Bakr Hujairi of the Arsal municipality.
At least three people have been killed since October when Syrian troops staging incursions into Lebanon opened fire on border villages.
The Lebanese opposition, Washington and the United Nations have condemned the incursions.
Lebanon and Syria share a 330-kilometer border but have yet to agree on official demarcation.
Syria has also planted landmines along its border with Lebanon in a bid to prevent weapons smuggling and dissidents from fleeing a fierce crackdown by the regime in Damascus against a near 10-month revolt.
There have been growing fears in Lebanon that the bloodshed in Syria could spill over the border.
The Lebanese opposition and France have also accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of involvement in a bombing that wounded five French U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon last week.
Damascus has denied the charge.
“As the Syrian authorities press on with their bloody repression of the Syrian people who are courageously demonstrating to obtain the recognition of their right to freedom and dignity, we call on the Lebanese authorities to do everything possible to facilitate the hosting and treatment of wounded Syrians and to respect the rights of refugees seeking to enter the (Lebanese) territory,” Valero said.