UNIFIL Force Commander and Head of Mission meets Lebanese authorities in Beirut
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano today called on Lebanese Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Tammam Salam in two separate meetings in Beirut.
The situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations was discussed, with a particular focus on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 under UNIFIL’s mandate as well as issues related to the last tripartite meeting.
Following the meetings, Major-General Portolano said: “I was very heartened by my meetings with the leaders today. Their words are a reaffirmation of Lebanon’s continuous and unwavering support for UNIFIL’s mandate and for the work we are doing on the ground with the Lebanese Army to ensure stability in the south. The strong support for UNIFIL’s presence has also been demonstrated by the people of the south with their welcoming hospitality and generosity.”
"We had very productive meetings and exchanged views in taking concrete steps on a number of outstanding issues towards the implementation of UNSCR 1701." And he added: "We spoke about the situation in southern Lebanon and I briefed the leaders on the discussions at the last tripartite meeting on 18 March, where both parties reiterated their strong commitment to cessation of hostilities highlighting the paramount importance they attach to this unique liaison and coordination mechanism that has proven to be vital in de-conflicting the situation at critical moments, in de-escalating tension and preventing incidents.”
“I assured Speaker Berri and Prime Minister Salam that the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations is now stable; we continue with our presence on the ground and at sea with patrols across the area of operations and in Lebanese territorial waters in close coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces.”