Lebanese Minister of National Defense visits UNIFIL
UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Stefano Del Col, today welcomed Lebanon’s new Minister of National Defense, Maurice Sleem, to the peacekeeping mission’s headquarters in Naqoura, South Lebanon.
In his remarks, Major General Del Col announced a donation of 500 kg of medicines to the LAF, in accordance with support requested for the LAF in operative paragraph 11 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2591.
“The current economic situation has created hardship, and the LAF has not been spared,” said Major General Del Col. “That’s why the Council, with Resolution 2591, requested UNIFIL to take ‘temporary and special measures’ to support the LAF with essential items like medicine, fuel, food, and logistics. We are pleased to support the LAF, just as the LAF supports us, standing side by side, in our work here in south Lebanon.”
“Today, I’m very glad to announce that the LAF will have access to vital medical supplies from UNIFIL and essential medications,” he said. “These medications have been identified as the most needed, and we are grateful that they will be used to provide medical care for LAF soldiers, as well as their families.”
UNIFIL’s top official expressed his appreciation for the strong partnership UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) share. “I have reiterated to the Minister that the Lebanese Armed Forces are UNIFIL’s strategic partners,” he said. “The key word there is ‘partnership.’ We work closely with them each and every day and night, conducting our joint activities, to accomplish our mandate and work to secure peace and stability here in South Lebanon.”
The UNIFIL chief underscored the importance of finding other areas together where UNIFIL can provide support to the LAF.
“A strong LAF means we can continue our work and even intensify our efforts to maintain stability along the Blue Line and throughout our area of operations,” he said. “A strong LAF means we can create the space needed towards political and diplomatic solutions, and one day, inshallah, a permanent ceasefire.”
The Minister later received a briefing on the mission’s activities and a helicopter tour of the Blue Line.
You can read the full text of Major General Del Col’s official statement here.