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); air and ground violations; the situation along the Blue Line; as well as the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.
Special focus continued to be on UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination arrangements to ease the potential for sporadic tensions and minimize the scope for any possible misunderstandings among the parties along the Blue Line, especially given the current construction works that is ongoing south of the Blue Line.
During the last period, there has been a large number of activities along the Blue Line that have been managed efficiently by the parties who have been taking full advantage of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanisms at the trilateral and bilateral level: “I am pleased that coordination and communication through our liaison channels are being effectively used,” said Major General Beary stressing that “any activity close to the Blue Line should be predictable, with sufficient prior notification to allow for coordination by the parties to avoid misunderstandings and prevent incidents.”
The UNIFIL Head of Mission stressed the importance of using these coordination and liaison forums to decrease tension and address the “danger that a minor miscalculation could instantly change the operational scenario.”
Major General Beary also referred to the latest report of the UN Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701, where he called on both parties to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and to avail of UNIFIL mechanisms, such as the Tripartite forum, to address any heightened tensions that may arise.
“I would like to encourage you to find solutions to the areas where we have differences in an atmosphere of restraint, and in a spirit of good will and compromise,” said Major General Beary. “A lasting peaceful solution is in all our interest and is a legacy that we here today, have the ability to pass on to future generations.”
Note to Editors:
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 who carry out some 13,500 operational activities per month, by day and night, in the area of operations. The mission also has about 850 civilian staff. UNIFIL is complemented by a six-vessel Maritime Task Force.