UNIFIL Head of Mission chairs 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 Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN position in Ras Al Naqoura.
Discussions focused on the recent serious developments along the Blue Line, air and ground violations, and other issues within the scope of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and related resolutions.
Addressing the tripartite forum, Major General Del Col underlined the dangerous potential of the latest developments that included a breach in the cessation of hostilities in UNIFIL’s area of operation. This, he warned, could have resulted in an uncontrollable escalation of violence. In this context he expressed appreciation at the fact that, in the wake of the incidents, the parties had responded positively to his call for restraint which helped contain the situation and restore calm along the Blue Line.
“I acknowledge the restraint shown as events unfolded along the Blue Line and both LAF and IDF’s desire to work with UNIFIL to quickly bring an end to the hostilities and not allow a broader escalation with potentially disastrous consequences,” he said.
Major General Del Col emphasized the critical role played by UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanism in de-escalating the situation: “I again want to highlight the centrality of our liaison and coordination mechanism which played a critical role in de-escalation and the restoration of stability.”
He called on the parties to maintain their active engagement with UNIFIL in order to shield the Blue Line from the wider regional conflict. “We must continue our close engagement to ensure the Blue Line is not held hostage to the complex dynamics and numerous events occurring outside UNIFIL’s area of operations,” Major General Del Col 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.