Beirut, Mar 21 (IANS): Aroldo Lazaro Saenz, chief of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), reiterated calls for Lebanon and Israel to refrain from any action that could lead to an escalation.
"I continue to urge all parties to refrain from any action that could lead to misunderstanding, reaction, and cause a break in the cessation of hostilities," he said in a statement on Monday.
His remarks came during a ceremony held at UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura to mark the 45th anniversary of establishing the UN peacekeeping forces, reports Xinhua news agency.
Turning to recent tensions along the Blue Line, he said that peacekeepers have been "on the ground to defuse potential incidents and maintain calm."
Lazaro also called for political agreement from both sides as a permanent ceasefire, and sustainable peace will lead to the ultimate success of UN Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.
The top official also praised the UNIFIL's peacekeepers' commitment to their mission over the past 45 years.
"Over these 45 years, the commitment of our peacekeepers has never wavered," he said.
UNIFIL has been operating in southern Lebanon since 1978 to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the south.
According to its latest data, UNIFIL includes about 10,122 peacekeepers from 48 countries.