UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Beary meets newly appointed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Michael Beary today called on the newly appointed Prime Minister Saad Hariri in his office in Beirut.
Following the meeting, Major-General Beary said: “I was extremely encouraged by this first meeting with Prime Minister Hariri. I was pleased to have this opportunity just weeks after he assumed office to brief him on UNIFIL’s mission and related developments in south Lebanon.”
“I informed the Prime Minister that the situation along the Blue Line and in the UNIFIL area of operations remains calm, and that the parties have reiterated their commitment to resolution 1701 and to upholding the cessation of hostilities.” And he added:” I have also briefed the Prime Minister on the upcoming visit of a UN delegation who will conduct a Strategic Review of the Mission aimed at improving the mission’s effectiveness and efficiency, and to ensure that UNIFIL is best configured and resourced to deliver on its mandate.”
UNIFIL Force Commander emphasized the importance of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination arrangements stressing on the crucial role played by the Tripartite forum:” This confidence building-mechanism has proven to be vital in preventing tension and incidents, and in de-conflicting the situation at critical moments. In the tense regional situation, it is all the more important for both parties to continue working with UNIFIL to address developing issues and prevent any escalation along the Blue Line.”
“The Prime Minister had strong words of support for UNIFIL and he acknowledged the importance of the work we are doing together with the Lebanese Armed Forces to maintain a safe and secure environment in the south. One of our main objectives is to continue working with LAF on furthering the Strategic Dialogue process to strengthen their capabilities in order to tackle the multiple challenges that face them” Major-General Beary said. “We will seek again to keep calm with the LAF and not allow any miscalculation or misunderstanding to lead to an outbreak of tension or conflict in the area.”
During the meeting UNIFIL Head of Mission highlighted the greater involvement of the Lebanese Government in the south: “UNIFIL will continue to work with Ministries as well as local leaders in extending their full authority in UNIFIL area of operations. It is important for the Government of Lebanon to continue to take advantage of this unprecedented calm that south Lebanon has enjoyed for more than 10 years.”