Major-General Portolano chairs last tripartite meeting as UNIFIL Head of Mission
The Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Major-General Luciano Portolano, today chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura.
It was the last meeting Major-General Portolano chaired since he took charge of UNIFIL in July 2014 and before his departure from the UN mission next month.
Today’s discussions focused on issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), air and ground violations, situation along the Blue Line and its ongoing visible marking, as well as the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.
In his remarks, Major-General Portolano expressed satisfaction that, during his two years at the helm of the UN peacekeeping mission, there was no major escalation of conflict and the parties largely adhered to the provisions stipulated in resolution 1701.
The UNIFIL head said: “Since July 2014, when I took over command of UNIFIL, we have operated in an increasingly complex and difficult regional context. I first and foremost thank and commend both of the parties for the engagement and commitment to work with and through this forum to maintain the cessation of hostilities and improve stability in areas along the Blue Line. We can be proud that the past 10 years have seen long periods of calm and relative stability.”
Major-General Portolano emphasized that the strong liaison and coordination arrangements with UNIFIL have been instrumental in minimizing and halting violations on the both sides of the Blue Line. He called on both sides to continue to strengthen the security infrastructure, with UNIFIL’s support, along the Blue Line.