UNIFIL Head of Mission calls on Lebanese leaders in Beirut
The Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Major-General Luciano Portolano, today called on Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Defense Samir Mokbel in Beirut.
In separate meetings, Major-General Portolano briefed the Lebanese leaders on the situation in southern Lebanon, and the continued efforts of UNIFIL, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), to maintain the general calm that has continued along the Blue Line.
In remarks following the meetings, Major-General Portolano said: “We are nearing ten years of resolution 1701. In this period, an overall calm has prevailed in southern Lebanon at a level unprecedented in its recent history. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), working with UNIFIL, has played a crucial role in making this happen. The arrangements we have put in place through UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination with the parties have proven their worth in ensuring a degree of stability along the Blue Line through these challenging times and despite some very serious situations we have had to address in the area.”
“Talking to the leaders today I got a clear sense of their deep appreciation of this critical stabilizing role that UNIFIL is playing, and I was very encouraged by their assurances of Lebanon’s firm commitment to resolution 1701, which forms the basis of our work in the South.”
“I thanked the honourable Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister for their relentless support to UNIFIL and I assured them of the strong determination of our peacekeepers to continue the implementation of our mandated tasks, working closely with LAF and other partners on the ground.”
During his meetings Major-General Portolano said that UNIFIL continues its efforts, as part of the strategic dialogue process, to facilitate international assistance to LAF in the South, within the framework of the wider support initiatives of the International Support Group for Lebanon.