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 Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura.
Discussions centered on issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), which was recently extended through the adoption of Security Council resolution 2373 (2017); air and ground violations; the situation along the Blue Line; as well as the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.
In light of the 30 August Security Council meeting, which extended UNIFIL’s mandate until 31 August 2018, Major General Beary noted that the unanimity in the Council gives UNIFIL the necessary backing to carry out its mandate.
The Major General noted that he was “very encouraged’ to hear a reiterated commitment from all sides in implementing Security Council resolutions 1701 and 2373 including the new modalities of implementation related to operational and reporting requirements.
He called for continued strong support from both sides “in the timely sharing of information and utilizing our liaison and coordination mechanism efficiently,” and noted that UNIFIL will “work with LAF to facilitate any increase in its presence in the Area of Operations.”
“UNIFIL will continue to make all efforts to execute its mandate to the fullest,” he said, stressing the need to “continue to make all efforts to maintain security and stability” in collaboration with both parties.
“The one thing that could successfully guide us to stability remains our liaison and coordination mechanisms and the fact that we could candidly and openly talk about these issues here in this room,” Major General Beary added. “We need to collectively think about how we can build towards a permanent ceasefire.”
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.
UNIFIL currently has around 10,500 peacekeepers coming from 41 troop contributing countries. The Mission maintains an intensive level of operational and other activities amounting to approximately 13,500 activities per month, day and night, in the area of operations. About 17 per cent of these activities are carried out jointly with the LAF. UNIFIL is complemented by a seven-vessel Maritime Task Force.