UNIFIL Force Commander meets Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri

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30 Jan 2015

UNIFIL Force Commander meets Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano today called on Lebanese Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri in his office in Beirut to discuss the situation in the UNIFIL Area of Operation in view of the recent incidents in southern Lebanon.

The Force Commander shared with the Speaker of the Parliament his serious concern with the incidents which resulted in the tragic death of a UNIFIL Spanish peacekeeper.

Major-General Portolano said: “We had a very constructive meeting where we discussed the current tension present in UNIFIL’s area of operations after Wednesday’s incidents and the need to prevent further attempts at undermining peace and security in the south. We have also discussed the way forward in preventing any further escalation in UNIFIL’s area of operations.”

“I thanked Speaker Berri for his strong and sincere support; I highly appreciate his continuous efforts in helping preserving stability and the influence he has been exerting in calming the situation. I also expressed my deep appreciation for the Speaker’s condolences and kind word in regard of the tragic death of Corporal Lance Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo of the Spanish contingent.”

“I conveyed to the Speaker the UN Secretary-General's message emphasizing his concerns over the serious deterioration of the security situation, to refrain from any action that could undermine the stability of the area and to act responsibly to prevent any escalation in an already tense regional environment. The recent incident not only undermined the peace that has prevailed in more than eight years in southern Lebanon, but also endangered the safety of the local population and the security of the south”

“I told Speaker Berri that the investigations into the recent incidents are ongoing and I assured him that the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations is now quiet; we continue with our presence on the ground and patrols across the area of operations in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces.”

UNIFIL remains focused on its mission to fulfill the mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701, together with the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Force Commander said. In addition to its tasks, UNIFIL has the safety and well-being of the population as a top priority.