BEIRUT, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab will soon send a letter to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) calling for Lebanon's right to open the old Beirut-Haifa railway tunnel, Al-Akhbar local newspaper reported on Friday.
"The minister wants to make sure that the Israeli enemy does not occupy any parts of the tunnel while calling for the construction of a Lebanese gate on the borders inside the tunnel," the newspaper said.
Al-Akhbar said that the "enemy" is currently using the tunnel by making touristic investments in this area while implementing projects in nearby islands to deprive Lebanon from its maritime rights.
The railway line between Lebanon and Haifa was considered as a vital link in the past. It was the only line capable of connecting three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa.
The Lebanese civil war, which ran from 1975 to 1990, effectively put an end to rail transport in Lebanon.