UNIFIL Head of Mission Major General Beary meets with Foreign Minister Bassil
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of the Republic of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, in Beirut.
The UNIFIL Head of Mission expressed his appreciation for the commitment and continued support by the Government of Lebanon in the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1701. He also noted the Government’s commitment towards extension of state authority and strengthening the Government’s engagement in south Lebanon.
During the meeting, Major General Beary briefed Minister Bassil on the overall situation in UNIFIL’s area of operation (AO) and the importance the Mission attaches to its relations with the people of the south: “I highly value the support and assistance I have been receiving from the Lebanese authorities. UNIFIL successfully increased its outreach to the local population as well as intensified engagement with local leaders and communities.”
Moreover, the discussions focused on the strategic partnership between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and UNIFIL, and the need for increased support to the LAF, UNIFIL’s strategic partner. The UNIFIL head reiterated UNIFIL’s continued commitment to work with LAF in furthering the Strategic Dialogue process as an integral part of the larger LAF Capabilities Development Plan.
Highlighting the importance of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanism, Major General Beary said the tripartite forum has been critical in de-escalating and preserving stability along the Blue Line: “I was pleased to inform the Minister that both parties reaffirmed their commitment to UNSCR 1701 and stressed their clear intent to continue working with UNIFIL to further strengthen security along the Blue Line.”
“In the tense regional situation, it is all the more important for both parties to continue working with UNIFIL to address developing issues and prevent any escalation,” said Major General Beary.
In closing, he extended an invitation to Minister Bassil to visit the UNIFIL Headquarters and south Lebanon.