Force Commander chairs extraordinary tripartite meeting, 04 August 2010

5 Aug 2010

Force Commander chairs extraordinary tripartite meeting, 04 August 2010

Naqoura, Lebanon - UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas chaired an extraordinary tripartite meeting with senior representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Wednesday 04 August 2010 at the UN Position at the Ras Al Naqoura crossing. The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Mr. Michael Williams also attended and addressed the meeting.

The meeting specifically addressed the serious situation that developed in the last two days following the exchange of fire between Lebanese and Israeli forces across the Blue Line in El Adeisse yesterday, causing regrettable loss of lives.

UNIFIL informed the parties that a thorough investigation into Tuesday's events is underway and presented its preliminary findings.

On completion of the ongoing investigation, UNIFIL will share its findings with both the parties. In the meantime, UNIFIL urged the parties to exercise maximum restraint, avoid any action that could serve to heighten tensions, and work with UNIFIL in taking steps to prevent any recurrence of such a situation.

Following the tripartite meeting, UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Asarta said: "We had a constructive meeting. I stressed the importance of ensuring full respect for the Blue Line by all the parties. I reiterated the sensitivity of the Blue Line and urged utmost caution in any actions along the Blue Line that could be perceived as provocative and exacerbate tensions. I called on the parties to utilize the liaison and coordination mechanism through UNIFIL particularly on matters relating to the Blue Line in order to minimize the scope for any misunderstandings or apprehensions that may lead to wanton escalation."

The Force Commander noted that both the parties renewed their commitment to the cessation of hostilities and to UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) and undertook to work with UNIFIL to ensure that incidents of violence are avoided in the future.

He added that the situation has returned to normal and quiet prevails in UNIFIL's area of operations at this time.