UNIFIL Head Urges Proactive Action and Accountability to Maintain Stability along the Blue Line
Chairing a regular Tripartite meeting at a UN position in Ras al-Naqoura today, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lázaro congratulated Lebanese and Israeli army representatives on the recent and historic maritime agreement. It demonstrates that seemingly intractable differences can be resolved.
Welcoming recent messages of de-escalation along the Blue Line, Major General Lázaro urged the senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the room to ensure these words are backed up by concrete action.
“I urge you to prevent any activities that could jeopardise the cessation of hostilities,” he said. “In line with the expectations of the Security Council, there needs to be action to proactively prevent violations and provocative behaviour on your respective sides and being seen to hold perpetrators to account.”
Major General Lázaro thanked the parties for their goodwill and cooperation in facilitating the annual olive harvest in fields that are bisected by the Blue Line. He encouraged the parties to explore similar local arrangements to help reduce tensions.
During the meeting, discussions also focused on the situation along the Blue Line, air and ground violations, and other issues within the scope of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006) and subsequent resolutions.
Since the end of the 2006 war in south Lebanon, regular Tripartite meetings have been held under UNIFIL’s auspices as an essential conflict-management and confidence-building mechanism. Today’s was the 158th such meeting. Through its liaison and coordination mechanisms, UNIFIL remains the only forum through which Lebanese and Israeli armies officially meet.