UNIFIL Head appeals for restraint near Blue Line to decrease tension
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lázaro chaired a regular Tripartite meeting with senior officers of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at a UN position in Ras al-Naqoura today.
“During the last couple of months, there have been a number of concerning developments along the Blue Line” he said. “Despite these events, active engagement has contributed to the prevention of potential escalation and helped maintain stability.”
The UNIFIL head highlighted the breach in the cessation of hostilities, which occurred on 6 April 2023, noting increased tension along the Blue Line.
“I strongly encourage the parties to continue to avail of our liaison and coordination mechanisms while avoiding unilateral actions,” Major General Lázaro added.
During the meeting, the UNIFIL chief acknowledged the efforts made by the parties to de-escalate situations calling on them to refrain from taking measures close to the Blue Line that can lead to misunderstandings, violations and increased tension.
“I continue to appeal for engagement in Blue Line talks to address outstanding issues,” he noted. “Our efforts need to be forward looking and focused on solutions – getting beyond the immediate incidents and looking to how we resolve them. This is a vital chance to remove sources of friction from the Blue Line. It is an opportunity that should not be squandered.”
Discussions during the meeting also focused on the situation along the Blue Line, air and ground violations, and other issues within the scope of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006) and subsequent resolutions.
Since the end of the 2006 war in south Lebanon, regular Tripartite meetings have been held under UNIFIL’s auspices as an essential conflict-management and confidence-building mechanism. Today’s was the 161st such meeting. Through its liaison and coordination mechanisms, UNIFIL remains the only forum through which the Lebanese and Israeli armies officially meet.