Major-General Asarta bids farewell to Lebanese officials, 27 January 2012

27 Jan 2012

Major-General Asarta bids farewell to Lebanese officials, 27 January 2012

UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas today paid farewell visits to senior Lebanese officials at the end of his tenure. He was accompanied by Major-General Paolo Serra, who will assume Command of UNIFIL on Saturday 28 January.

Major-General Asarta called on President Michel Sleiman, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Defence Minister Fayez Ghosn, Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Kahwagi and the Lebanese Government Coordinator with UNIFIL, Major-General Abdel-Rahman Shehaitly. Speaker Berri hosted a dinner as a farewell gesture for the Force Commander.

In separate meetings with the Lebanese officials, Major-General Asarta thanked them for their steadfast support for UNIFIL in the implementation of its mandated tasks under UN Security Council resolution 1701 in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces.

"The progress made in implementation of UNIFIL's mandate has been possible thanks to the unequivocal support from the political leadership and the close cooperation and coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces. We owe the stability in the south today to the commitment of the parties and all the combined efforts," Major-General Asarta said.

He singled out the population of south Lebanon for praise. "I am moved by the expressions of gratitude I have received from the people of the south and I am glad to have contributed in the last two years I was UNIFIL Force Commander to their security and safety. After all, the wellbeing of the people of the south, our hosts, is an extremely important part of our task."