Saniora 224.88 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were to discuss the deployment of German UN peacekeepers during talks in Berlin Thursday.
The leaders will also consider longer-term efforts to stabilize and strengthen Lebanon and "opportunities Saniora sees to give further support and new impetus to the political process to solve the crisis in the Middle East," Thomas Steg, a spokesman for Merkel, said on Wednesday.
Saniora on Wednesday called on Israel to withdraw all its forces from his country so as not to put the cease-fire at risk.
"In order for the cessation of present hostilities to be effective, Israel needs to withdraw all of its forces without further delay from the posts it is occupying in Lebanon and to put an end to violating [Lebanon's] sovereignty," said Saniora.
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"We have to put an end to (Lebanon's) occupation ... then there won't be any arguments for weapons in the hands of Hizbullah," he continued.
Saniora claimed that the Lebanese were doing "all they can" to ensure the government had authority over the entire territory of the country and no armed group other than the Lebanese army held weapons.
The Lebanese prime minister added that a process was needed to end Israel's "occupation" of the Shaba Farms region and urged the United Nations Security Council to offer its assistance on the matter.
Saniora thanked European countries for helping to end the conflict with Israel and Hizbullah, as well as for sending troops to contribute to the UNIFIL force.
He also emphasized that while "fulfilling its threat to set Lebanon back twenty years," Israel had killed over 1100 civilians, a third of whom were children, wounded over 4000 others and displaced one million people.
"Lebanon, which only seven weeks ago was full of hope and promise, has been torn to shreds by destruction, displacement, dispossession, desolation, and death," he said.
Meanwhile, Lebanese army officials said that IDF forces entered a southern Lebanese village on Wednesday to carry out security checks. Reportedly, IDF soldiers arrived in three jeeps and a tank, stationing themselves on a main road where they stopped cars and checked the drivers.
The officials said that the IDF had carried out the checks for about an hour and had performed a similar operation on Tuesday.
AP contributed to this report.
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