UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Paolo Serra meeting with Lebanese authorities, 19 September 201
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Paolo Serra today called on President Michel Sleiman, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The meetings come at the heels of the extension of UNIFIL's mandate for one year by the United Nations Security Council. Issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL's mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 were discussed, with particular focus on cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
Following the meeting, the Force Commander said: "We had very good meetings. I informed the Presidents that UNIFIL, in close coordination with LAF, has enhanced its operational activities to maintain security and stability in our area of operations following the recent redeployment of LAF units north of the Litani river." He added, "I have expressed my most sincere appreciation for the deep commitment of the LAF in maintaining a high level of coordination with UNIFIL despite the additional challenges the Lebanese Army has been faced with in recent months."
In light of the volatile regional environment, the Force Commander expressed particular satisfaction at the prevailing calm and stability in the UNIFIL area of operations in southern Lebanon. He said that the parties continue to state their strong commitment to the cessation of hostilities and their willingness to work in close coordination with UNIFIL for the implementation of UNSCR 1701.
During his encounters Major-General Serra thanked the State leadership for their continued support for UNIFIL's deployment and mission, emphasizing that UNIFIL remains focused on its mandated tasks under UN Security Council resolution 1701.