UNIFIL FC Paolo Serra bids farewell to the Lebanese authorities and introduces his successor
In separate visits, he met with Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander General Jean Kahwaji and the General Director of General Security, Major-General Abbas Ibrahim.
Following the meetings, Major-General Serra said: "I was in Beirut today at the end of my tour of duty to call on the esteemed leaders and to thank them for their unflinching support to me personally and to our mission for peace in south Lebanon. We also discussed the latest developments in UNIFIL's area of operations and our efforts together with the Lebanese Armed Forces to maintain calm along the Blue Line."
"I took the opportunity to emphasize my profound appreciation for the work of the Lebanese Armed Forces. Through thick and thin, they have remained steadfast on the course charted by UN Security Council resolution 1701, backed up by the political leadership, shoulder to shoulder with UNIFIL peacekeepers. All for the sake of security and stability for the people of south Lebanon; we have come a long way since 2006."
"Our respect for the communities that are hosting us, their understanding and acceptance of UNIFIL's role amidst them, are paramount for the implementation of our mandate. Their support and appreciation for the work carried out by the Mission has been extremely valuable."
"I reassured my interlocutors that UNIFIL, soon under my successor Major-General Portolano, will continue to build on the strong foundations for peace in the south and all the good work that has been done so far in strategic partnership with LAF."
Major-General Serra introduced to the Lebanese authorities, the incoming UNIFIL Force Commander, Major-General Luciano Portolano (Italy), who accompanied him on the visits. Major-General Portolano will take up the position of UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander on Thursday, 24 July.