United Nations Under-Secretary-General tours the Line of Withdrawal
As part of his five-day tour of the region, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous today toured the Line of Withdrawal (Blue Line) in UNIFIL area of operations in southern Lebanon. He was accompanied by the Force Commander Major-General Paolo Serra and senior UNIFIL officials.
Following an aerial tour of the Blue Line, Mr. Ladsous visited specific locations in the eastern sector of UNIFIL's area of operations, including the Wazzani and Shebaa areas, El Adeisseh, Kafr Kela and Sheikh Abbad's Tomb. He also visited the UNIFIL position across from northern Ghajar where he was briefed on the situation in the area.
The USG met UNIFIL troops from Indonesia, Italy, Nepal, Spain, France, India and other countries, and held meetings with the Sector West Commander Brig-Gen Antonio Bettelli and Sector East Commander Brig-Gen Teodoro Banos Alonso. He also received a briefing on the ongoing visible marking of the Blue Line, which is undertaken by UNIFIL in coordination with both the parties.
After the tour Mr. Ladsous said: "I am encouraged to see that the situation along the Blue Line is generally calm. I commend the parties for their continued commitment to the cessation of hostilities and the implementation of resolution 1701. A visible element of their good work with UNIFIL is the Blue Line marking process, which is a critical confidence-building measure."
He added: "I saw on the ground today, the positive outcome of the strategic partnership between UNIFIL and the LAF. I have high admiration for all the military and civilian personnel of UNIFIL whose hard work and sacrifice have rendered southern Lebanon the security and stability it lacked for three decades until 2006."