UK Foreign Secretary Cameron makes Lebanon visit amid Hezbollah-Israel clashes

UK Foreign Secretary Cameron makes Lebanon visit amid Hezbollah-Israel clashes
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron met with Lebanon's caretaker PM and House Speaker to discuss ways to de-escalate clashes along the Israel-Lebanon border.
2 min read
01 February, 2024
David Cameron had previously met with Lebanese caretaker PM Mikati in London a month prior [Getty]

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron visited Beirut on Thursday as diplomatic efforts continued to try to de-escalate border clashes between Israel and Hezbollah and head off a full-scale conflict between the two parties.

The two parties have been engaged in steadily escalating cross-border clashes since the 7 October attack by Hamas on the borders of the Gaza envelope.

Cameron met with the Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Berri reportedly raised the issue of Israel's targeting of civilians in southern Lebanon and its lack of implementation of UN Resolution 1701, which provided an end to the 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel.

The resolution has recently become a contention between both sides with the accusations the other is not complying with the agreement.

Specifically, Israel has called for Hezbollah to withdraw its forces north of the Litani River in line with 1701, while Lebanon has called on Israel to vacate the territory it was supposed to withdraw from.

Hezbollah has said it will not engage in negotiations over the withdrawal of its forces until a ceasefire in Gaza is achieved.

Israel has threatened to forcibly remove Hezbollah if a diplomatic resolution to its presence in southern Lebanon is not found.

Cameron also spoke with Berri about the presidential vacancy in Lebanon, as efforts have stalled to find a new president for Lebanon, 17 months after the position was last occupied.

Two days prior on 31 January, the ambassadors of the "quintet" – the US, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt – met with Berri.

They reportedly discussed the presidential vacancy as well as outlined a new French proposal to stabilise the situation along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Cameron had met with Lebanese PM Mikati a month prior on 28 December in London to discuss border clashes with Israel, where he warned of an "extremely high" danger of escalation in southern Lebanon.