At the Tripartite forum UNIFIL Major General Del Col emphasises the importance of maintaining calm along the BL

16 Dec 2019

At the Tripartite forum UNIFIL Major General Del Col emphasises the importance of maintaining calm along the BL

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col today chaired a regular Tripartite meeting with senior officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN position in Ras Al Naqoura. Issues relating to UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 were discussed.

The UNIFIL Head of Mission emphasised the importance of insulating the tripartite forum and the work carried out in the UNIFIL area of operations, from the wider political dynamics or regional developments.

In his remarks Major-General Del Colemphasised the message from the UN Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701, encouraging the parties to reach agreement on outstanding points of contention along the Blue Line, cautioning that unilateral action could potentially escalate tension and must be avoided, while calling on the parties to avail themselves of the UNIFIL liaison and coordination arrangements. “Our priority is to maintain calm along the Blue Line” General Del Col said “and to create the right conditions to facilitate potential agreement on some of the larger contentious issues”.

The UNIFIL Head commended the parties for their continued cooperation with UNIFIL in preserving the cessation of hostilities: “Both parties are clearly committed to engagement through the tripartite forum. As we look forward to the new year, let us do so through dialogue and positive engagement to find practical solutions. Only through dialogue can we hope to achieve a sustainable peace.”

UNIFIL Head of Mission was encouraged by the positive messages from both sides: ”Neither side seeks conflict and I can assure you that UNIFIL will play its part to attain our primary objective of preserving the cessation of hostilities.” And he added: ” We can achieve this by ensuring our actions are geared towards reducing tension and minimising the potential for escalation along the Blue Line.

Tripartite meetings have been held regularly under the auspices of UNIFIL since the end of the 2006 war in south Lebanon as an essential conflict management and confidence building mechanism.”