Lebanese President Michel Aoun officially requested an extension of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon UNIFIL’s mandate.
According to a statement issued by the presidency, President Michel Aoun called on the United States to support the extension of UNIFIL’s mandate, after a meeting Thursday with US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Robert Story Karem.
During their meeting at Baabda Palace today, President Aoun told US Assistant Secretary of Defense that “Lebanon is committed to implementing UN Security Council Resolution # 1701 with all its stipulations.” He also called on the United States “to exert pressure on Israel to stop its violations of Lebanese sovereignty, especially the national airspace that is subject to continuous breaches by enemy warplanes to bomb Syrian territories.
Furthermore, President Aoun stressed “the importance of Washington’s support to renew the mandate of UNIFIL, without any modification in its functions, number and budget, because this helps in maintaining stability, especially that the Lebanese army is aiding the international forces in their tasks and coordinating with them to this end.”
President Aoun thanked the United States for its assistance to the Lebanese army, which “proved its high efficiency in its victory over terrorism and in carrying out all the tasks assigned to it, foremost of which is maintaining stability at home and eradicating active and dormant terrorist cells.”
In turn, Karem emphasized the US desire to strengthen relations between the Lebanese and American armies, and explained his country’s position on the situation in Lebanon and the region, outlining the US administration’s adopted strategy in this area. Karem concluded by stressing on how pleased he was to meet with President Aoun, referring to the United States’ appreciation for his efforts to develop the capabilities of the Lebanese army.