UNIFIL Head of Mission meets with top Lebanese leaders
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary attended separate meetings in Beirut today with the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun; the Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri; and the Prime Minister, Saad Hariri.
In his first meetings of 2018 with top Lebanese leaders, discussions focused on the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations, especially along the Blue Line, issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1701, and the importance of the upcoming Rome II conference.
“We had very constructive discussions,” said Major General Beary after the meetings. “I have emphasized UNIFIL’s steadfast support for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), our strategic partner, as well as LAF’s exemplary resolve and professionalism in maintaining stability in the South.”
Major General Beary highlighted UNIFIL’s efforts as part of the Strategic Dialogue proceyss to facilitate international assistance to LAF in the south, in coordination with the International Support Group for Lebanon.
Major General Beary thanked each of the leaders for their support to UNIFIL’s mission and the commitment demonstrated to the extension of State authority to the south.
“I also assured them of our continued best efforts to preserve the calm along the Blue Line and to work towards peace and stability in south Lebanon,” said Major General Beary.
In relation to the situation along the Blue Line, UNIFIL Head of Mission stressed the need for the parties to take advantage of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination arrangements, including the Tripartite forum, to find solutions aimed at preventing violations, decreasing tension and maintaining stability in the area of operations.
“Since 2006 the south of Lebanon has enjoyed an unprecedented period of calm. The unremitting support of the Lebanese authorities and the population has been crucial in the achievement of this prolonged stability," the UNIFIL Force Commander said.
UNIFIL currently has around 10,500 peacekeepers who maintain some 13,500 operational activities per month, by day and night, in the area of operations. UNIFIL is complemented by a six-vessel Maritime Task Force.