Tripartite Meeting held on 7 July 2015
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 officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN Position at Ras Al Naqoura crossing.
The participants discussed issues relevant to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701, including the situation along the Line of Withdrawal (Blue Line), air and ground violations, the ongoing visible marking of the Blue Line and the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.
Major-General Portolano noted the general calm that has been maintained along the Blue Line amidst challenging circumstances and commended the parties for their continued engagement with UNIFIL to this end.
Following the meeting, Major-General Portolano said: "Quite removed from the public rhetoric and some of the speculative reports going around, I find both the parties very focused on real issues on the ground, issues that go towards further strengthening the security infrastructure we have together established along the Blue Line. Where there are gaps, they are working with UNIFIL to fill them. Where there are localized problems, we are actively seeking agreed practical solutions."
He added: "There is a lot happening around the region to distract us today, but there is also a lot at stake along the Blue Line that demands our undivided attention. To keep that focus requires rare resolve on all sides, and today's constructive meeting was yet another testament to the commitment the parties continue to maintain in working with UNIFIL to minimize the scope for incidents and to contain any incident if it does happen. I am very encouraged by this positive engagement of the parties with UNIFIL, and by their demonstrated intent to make optimum use of our liaison and coordination mechanism to ensure that the cessation of hostilities along the Blue Line is maintained."