Israel captured the area from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, and it is now claimed by Lebanon with Damascus’s consent. Israeli troops have retained control of the area since their withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000 after two decades of occupation. It remains the scene of clashes between Israeli forces and Hezbollah.

The United Nations regards the Shebaa Farms as Syrian territory.

On Wednesday, the fundamentalist Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah criticized Roed-Larsen’s call because it "conforms to Israeli demands."

Lebanese leaders engaged in political roundtable talks that began in March in a bid to dig the country out of political crisis have called on the premier to normalize relations with ex-powerbroker Syria. –– AFP