Head of Mission and Force Commander meets with Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs
UNIFIL Head of Mission Major-General Luciano Portolano today called on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Samir Moqbel and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gebran Bassil in separate meetings in Beirut.
Discussions related to the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations, with a particular focus on security, the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 as well as issues from the last tripartite meeting.
Following the meetings, Major-General Portolano said: “I had very constructive meetings with the Ministers. I assured them of UNIFIL’s firm commitment to our mandated tasks under resolution 1701. Our achievements to date are a testament to the excellent relations and cooperation that exist between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and UNIFIL. I expressed my utmost respect for the commitment that LAF soldiers continue to demonstrate under very challenging circumstances.”
“I reiterated our continued support in strengthening LAF’s capacities as a strategic objective of UNIFIL. Our partnership has grown stronger and effective in preventing incidents and finding solutions to problems. Those results would not be possible without the strong support by the Lebanese authorities.”
During the meetings UNIFIL Head of Mission emphasized the importance the Mission attaches to its relations with the people of the south: “I highly value the support and assistance I have been receiving from the Lebanese authorities, religious leaders and the local communities which enabled the Mission to better pursue our common quest for maintaining peace and security in southern Lebanon.”
“In briefing the Ministers on the latest tripartite meeting, I was pleased to inform them that both parties reaffirmed their commitment to UNSCR 1701 and stressed their clear intent to continue working with UNIFIL to further strengthen the security infrastructure along the Blue Line. I told them that to this end I intend to pursue practical arrangements with the parties that could help mitigate the potential for tensions or incidents.”