UNIFIL Press Statement on Tripartite Meeting held today, 8 May 2013

8 May 2013

UNIFIL Press Statement on Tripartite Meeting held today, 8 May 2013

The Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Major-General Paolo Serra, today chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the UN Position at Ras Al Naqoura crossing.

The meeting discussed the situation along the Blue Line including ground and air violations and the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar as well the implementation of other relevant provisions of UN Security Council resolution 1701 under UNIFIL's mandate including the on-going visible marking of the Blue Line.

Major-General Serra said: "Both parties expressed full support and commitment to working with UNIFIL for the implementation of the relevant provisions of resolution 1701. The parties committed to maintaining calm in the area and preventing incidents and tension along the Blue Line."

Concerning the planned works by Israel in the village of Ghajar, General Serra said; "We had a constructive discussion on this matter which had raised some tensions a couple of weeks ago. As you know, both the LAF and UNIFIL object to works of this nature being conducted in the occupied area. Our focus is on ensuring full respect for, and preventing violations of, the relevant provisions of resolution 1701. UNIFIL's position is very clear, that Israel is obliged to withdraw from northern Ghajar."

The Force Commander said he will continue discussions with the parties at a bilateral level with a view to enhance security in this sensitive area and urged them to continue to utilize UNIFIL's liaison and coordination mechanism to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is maintained.

He added that UNIFIL is committed to the implementation of its mandate and will spare no effort to carry out its tasks under UN Security Council resolution 1701.