Under-Secretary-General Le Roy meets Lebanese leaders in Beirut, 5 May 2009.
Under-Secretary-General for United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy today met senior Lebanese leaders and defence officials in Beirut. In separate meetings with the President of Lebanon Michel Suleiman, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Fouad Seniora, Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, Defence Minister Elias Murr and Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces General Jean Kahwagi, Mr. Le Roy discussed issues relating to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), particularly with respect to UNIFIL's mandate and activities in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces in south Lebanon.
The meetings focused on ways to advance the implementation of resolution 1701, including some specific issues such as the UNIFIL proposal to facilitate the withdrawal of the Israel Defence Forces from the part of the village of Ghajar and adjacent area north of the Blue Line and the problem of unexploded ordnance and cluster bombs.
Mr. Le Roy commended Lebanon's commitment to resolution 1701 (2006) and noted that the strategic partnership between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces had helped to establish a new strategic environment in southern Lebanon. He stressed that this provided an opportunity for the parties to secure a permanent ceasefire and long-term solution as envisaged in resolution 1701 (2006).
Mr. Le Roy informed his interlocutors of the continued strong commitment of the troop-contributing countries to UNIFIL and underscored the importance of increasing cooperation with the Lebanese army in the discharge of UNIFIL's mandate. He stressed the importance of the Lebanese Armed Forces assuming effective security responsibility over the current area of UNIFIL's operations and the continuing need for the international community to support the capacity of the army.
Mr. Le Roy also met with the ambassadors of troop-contributing countries to UNIFIL and Security Council member states accredited in Lebanon. He thanked them for their continued commitment, noting that their contribution to UNIFIL and strong support by the Security Council are critical elements for the implementation of UNIFIL's mandate and resolution 1701 (2006).