UNIFIL Statement on Tripartite Meeting held today, 02 September 2010

2 Sep 2010

UNIFIL Statement on Tripartite Meeting held today, 02 September 2010

UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas today chaired a tripartite meeting with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the UN Position at Ras Al Naqoura crossing.

UNIFIL's investigation report on the exchange of fire between the LAF and IDF on 3 August was a topic of discussion. Both parties provided their comments and additional information of relevance for the investigation. UNIFIL is to study the comments and information provided by the parties and will inform the UN headquarters about the respective positions of the parties.

Other topics discussed in the meeting included ways to speed up the visible marking of the Blue Line on the ground as a follow up to the special tripartite meeting of 18 August dedicated to this matter. Also discussed were other issues relating to the implementation of resolution 1701, recent violations, and the IDF withdrawal from northern Ghajar and an adjacent area north of the Blue Line.

Following the meeting, Major-General Asarta said: "It was a productive meeting with many significant issues on the agenda. It was important for me to listen for the first time to the comment and views of the parties on UNIFIL's investigation report on the 3 August exchange of fire. We will study and further analyse this information. Our intention is to finalize the investigation report as soon as possible."

"The parties clearly put special importance on the Blue Line marking process as a way to avoid misunderstandings and prevent incidents," the Force Commander said.

He added: "The discussions today reconfirmed that no party would like to see any escalation. They stress on their continued commitment to maintain the cessation of hostilities and ensure that the exchange of fire that happened on 3 August remains an isolated incident."