A session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva underway.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
France's ambassador to Lebanon, Patrice Paoli, denied rumors that Paris was preparing a UN Security Council draft against Hezbollah, Lebanon's Daily Star reported on Friday.
In an interview with a Lebanese Daily newspaper, Paoli reaffirmed France's stance towards the troubled Middle Eastern state, "which calls for the protection of Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity and Resolution 1701.”
“There is no French conspiracy against any [political] party,” the ambassador added. “We are in a conspiracy for the sake of Lebanon and its stability.”
A day prior to Paoli's interview, reports surfaced that linked France to a alleged resolution aimed at censuring Hezbollah for its assault on an Israeli convoy last Wednesday that killed two Israeli soldiers.
Israel's response to the Shiite militia's cross-border flare-up included artillery fire which hit an UNIFIL outpost, killing one Spanish peacekeeper.
Hezbollah's January 18 raid was widely seen as a response to a airborne strike on the Syrian side of the Golan heights. The operation was attributed to the Israeli air-force and killed key Hezbollah figures as well as an Iranian Revolutionary Guard General.
The violence in the Golan and on Israel's northern frontier added to fears that Israel would be dragged into the the violence wracking its Arab neighbors.
Paoli's attempt to assuage any hearsay concerning diplomatic measures against Hezbollah can be seen in light of the Lebanese government's own attempts to highlight its achievements against militancy and extremism within its borders.
Last month state prosecutors charged 28 suspects for their involvement in a double suicide bomb attack in the northern city of Tripoli which killed at least nine people.
Lebanon has absorbed over a million Syrian refugees, putting great distress on the country's troubled sectarian fault lines and arousing clashes between extremists Sunni elements affiliated with al-Qaida's Jabhat al-Nusra branch and Shiite factions such as Hezbollah.