UNIFIL Force Commander meets local authorities in south-western Lebanon, 27 July 2009

27 Jul 2009

UNIFIL Force Commander meets local authorities in south-western Lebanon, 27 July 2009

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Force Commander Major-General Claudio Graziano today held a meeting at the Municipality of Tibnin in south-west Lebanon with local authorities from the neighbouring towns and villages. Also present were members of parliament with constituencies in the area and representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Major-General Graziano stressed the importance of maintaining good relations with the people of south Lebanon. He said: “The entire command of UNIFIL, down to every soldier, is committed to upholding and strengthening the excellent relationship we have with the people with whom we share our daily lives here in south Lebanon.”

He said that the focus of UNIFIL’s activity is on ensuring full respect for, and preventing violations of, the relevant provisions of Security Council resolution 1701. “UNIFIL acts in a transparent way and keeps UN Headquarters and the parties fully and factually informed on all the developments on the ground and any violations of resolution 1701.”

The Force Commander also discussed the incident of 18 July in Khirbat Silim when a UNIFIL unit was confronted by some people during a visit related to the joint investigations by UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces into the explosions that occurred in the area on 14 July. In this context he clarified the way in which UNIFIL operates in pursuance of its mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701.

“We must remember two fundamental facts that have been established over all these years of UNIFIL’s presence in south Lebanon: One, that we are here for the people of south Lebanon. Two, that the UN Security Council has given us a mandate that we must implement on the ground,” Major-General Graziano said.

There is no contradiction in these two fundamentals, he said, “Our respect for the communities that are hosting us and their understanding of UNIFIL’s obligations towards its mandated tasks, are mutually reinforcing impulses that drive our mission. We are determined to keep it that way and to further strengthen security and stability in south Lebanon in strategic partnership with the Lebanese Armed Forces.”


For further information, please contact the following at the UNIFIL Public Information Office:
Spokesperson Yasmina Bouziane
Tel.: +961 1 827 037 (office); +961 71 119 181(cell)
Fax: +961 1 827 016
Email: bouziane@un.org
View the UNIFIL website:
http://www. unifil.unmissions.org