UNIFIL head chairs regular Tripartite meeting with LAF and IDF officials
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col today chaired a regular Tripartite meeting with senior officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the UN position in Ras Al Naqoura.
Opening the meeting, the UNIFIL Commander said that despite a spike in activities and tensions due to developments along the Blue Line in the last months, “we have been experiencing noticeable stability which is indicative of the effective use of our liaison and coordination mechanisms, coupled with restraint and continued engagement by the parties.”
General Del Col noted the effective handling of sensitive activities along the Blue Line. This, he said, had led Member States to acknowledge and appreciate the coordinated efforts of UNIFIL and the parties at the UN Security Council meeting last week, which he attended.
Today’s Tripartite discussions touched on air and ground violations, the situation along the Blue Line, the discovery of tunnels, the issue of permanent violations including Northern Ghajar, as well as other issues within the scope of the UN Security Council resolution 1701 and related resolutions.
In view of the busy summer season in south Lebanon, which usually sees large number of visitors to the UNIFIL area of operations, Major General Del Col asked the parties for prior notification of any activities planned along the Blue Line.
“In the past we have seen that with proper coordination of activities and deconfliction on the ground, the situation can be managed so as to avoid unnecessary tension, and I acknowledge all your efforts to this end,” he said.
Tripartite meetings have been held regularly under the auspices of UNIFIL since the end of the 2006 war in south Lebanon as an essential conflict management and confidence building mechanism.