Lebanese Minister of Defense Yaacoub Sarraf visits UNIFIL headquarters

The Lebanese Minister of Defense, Yaacoub Sarraf, reviews the Guard of Honor on his arrival at UNIFIL headquarters.

Lebanese Minister of Defense Yaacoub Sarraf signs the UNIFIL Book of Honour as UNIFIL head Major General Beary watches on, during the Minister’s visit to the UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura, south Lebanon.

UNIFIL Senior Political Affairs Officer, John Molloy, gives a briefing on the Blue Line to Minister Sarraf and UNIFIL head Major General Beary, near a UN post in south Lebanon.

Senior personnel from the Lebanese Armed Forces and UNIFIL accompany Minister Sarraf on a visit to the Blue Line.

Minister Sarraf meets visiting Defense Minister of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian at UNIFIL Force Commander’s Reserve base in South Lebanon.

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7 Mar 2017

Lebanese Minister of Defense Yaacoub Sarraf visits UNIFIL headquarters

The Minister of Defense of Lebanon, Yaacoub Sarraf, today visited the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Naqoura, south Lebanon, and met with the UNIFIL Head of Mission of Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary.
 
This is the first visit of Minister Sarraf to the UNIFIL headquarters since his appointment to the post in December 2016.
 
During their meeting, the Minister and the UNIFIL head discussed enhanced cooperation between the UN Mission and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in south Lebanon.
 
Major General Beary said that the cooperation between UNIFIL and LAF has been crucial for preserving stability along the Blue Line for more than 10 years.
 

“In the tense regional situation, it is all the more important for LAF and UNIFIL to continue working closely together to address developing issues and prevent any escalation along the Blue Line,” the UNIFIL head told the Minister.
 
Later in the day, together with the UNIFIL Head of Mission, he also visited UNIFIL Force Commander’s Reserve base (FCR), where he held bilateral meeting with visiting Defense Minister of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian. During the visit, he was briefed by UNIFIL Chief of Staff, Brigadier-General Pierre Liot de Nortbecourt on the activities of UNIFIL and the French Battalion.
 
After meeting with the French Minister of Defence, Minister Sarraf accompanied by UNIFIL Head of Mission visited a UN position along the Blue Line and received briefing on UNIFIL’s work there.
 
At the end of the visit, Major General Beary assured the Lebanese Minister of UNIFIL’s continued determination, in close coordination with the LAF, to preserve stability in the south, while calling on all concerned to exercise calm and restraint at all times.
 
While underscoring multiple challenges facing the LAF, the UNIFIL head and the Lebanese Defense Minister also discussed the importance of strengthening LAF presence in UNIFIL’s area of operation in south Lebanon.
 
In his briefing on the situation in the UNIFIL AO, Major General Beary said that despite some heightened rhetoric, the situation along the Blue Line is calm with the parties fully committed to maintaining the cessation of hostilities.
 
“The need of the time is to prevent any escalation and I highly appreciate the unremitting efforts exercised by the LAF in calming the situation and their active engagement with international interlocutors,” he said after the meeting.
 
Before departing from Naqoura, Minister Sarraf said: “I highly appreciate the work carried out by UNIFIL and we are here to fully cooperate with the Mission in implementing its mandate and to have the Lebanese army close by your side.”

 

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Video Editor: Suzane Badereddine
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze
Photo: Pasqual Gorriz
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