Turkey concerned over Israeli-Lebanese border skirmish
Turkey yesterday expressed its concern over a deadly skirmish on the Lebanese-Israeli border that claimed four lives on Tuesday, warning that such tension could lead to instability in the region. "Turkey is seriously concerned by the clash on the Lebanese-Israeli border, which could lead to instability in the region as a whole at such a critical and sensitive time," said a Foreign Ministry statement released late on Wednesday. Lebanese and Israeli troops exchanged fire in a border battle that killed a senior Israeli officer, two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist. The violence started when Israel tried to cut down a tree that both sides claimed was in their territory. Urging both sides to act with caution and help efforts for peace and stability in the region, the statement said Turkey has always stressed the importance of Lebanon's peace and stability for the entire region. "Turkey welcomes the trilateral summit meeting (among Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia, held in Beirut late last week) and supports a joint declaration that underlines the importance of the protection of peace and stability in the country," the statement said. It also reiterated Turkey's support for Lebanon's national unity government under Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The statement said the summit is not only an important development in relations between these countries, but also for regional cooperation.