Tripartite Meeting held on 8 October 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.
UNIFIL Head of Mission welcomed the positive engagement of the parties in the discussions and commended their strong support for the work of the Mission. He noted that the situation along the Blue Line has remained calm despite continued volatility and difficulties in the region:" I believe this is the result of your continued determination and engagement with UNIFIL to keep this place safe and stable, against all regional odds. This positive engagement enabled us to avoid any space for misunderstandings and allow no rise in tension level." And he added:" The positive trends I just described are encouraging signs and stand out in stark contrast to what is happening in the region. We have an opportunity to build on the positives in tangible terms to ensure that this calm will continue to define the situation in the area".
Major–General Portolano also briefed the parties on the positive outcome of the meeting he attended of the International Support Group for Lebanon held on 30th September at UN Headquarters in New York at the margins of the 70th General Assembly:" The international community expressed its strong support to the Lebanese Government highlighting the ever more critical role played by the LAF amidst the multiple political, security, and socio-economic challenges that face them. The members of the ISG urged Member States to offer additional assistance where the LAF and the security forces are most critically in need, recognizing in particular the increased terrorist threat to Lebanese civilians. They commended as well the role played by the LAF in working with UNIFIL to help maintain calm along the Blue Line in implementation of resolution 1701."