UNIFIL head chairs regular tripartite meeting with LAF and IDF officials
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, today chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura.
Discussions focused on issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), air and ground violations, the situation along the Blue Line and its ongoing visible marking, as well as the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.
Major General Beary underlined the importance of maintaining the rhythm of face-to-face discussions, through the tripartite forum, that allow all the parties to take continuous stock of pressing issues and security concerns along the Blue Line. He also called on the parties to focus on building trust and confidence in order to maintain the cessation of hostilities and stability along the Blue Line.
Underscoring the importance of using UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination arrangements in order to avoid any misunderstanding between the parties, Major General Beary said, “The overall picture I see is one where there are several positives to be discerned and clear lessons on how some of the negatives could have been avoided by more timely engagement through UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination channels.”
Emphasizing the importance of prevention, he called on the parties to build on the positives, pointing to instances that had proved that “pragmatic and practical arrangements are possible and to the benefit of all.” The UNIFIL head also said that UNIFIL will continue to work closely with the parties in order to move the Blue Line marking process forward, “which will be in the long-term interest of both parties.”
Tripartite meetings have been held regularly under the auspices of UNIFIL since the end of the 2006 war. They have become an essential conflict management and confidence building mechanism between the parties.