The UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura.
Discussions focused on issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate, including the situation along the Blue Line and its ongoing visible marking, incidents of violations of resolution 1701 (2006) and related UNIFIL investigations, as well as air violations and the pending withdrawal of Israeli Forces from northern Ghajar.
Noting the general calm in UNIFIL’s area of operations, Major General Beary thanked both sides for their constructive engagement with UNIFIL and expressed hope that this could be built upon to further reinforce the security infrastructure along the Blue Line.
“All efforts at this forum are ultimately aimed at maintaining the cessation of hostilities,” Major General Beary said, “And in this context our centre of gravity is the Blue Line.” He urged the parties to not allow any extraneous factors or public rhetoric to distract them from this focus.
He underlined the importance of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanism that is founded on the trust UNIFIL has been able to build with both the parties through its impartial handling of issues relating to resolution 1701 and to the Blue Line, whether it’s marking or violations or efforts to resolve contentious issues. “This mechanism under UNIFIL’s umbrella has served us all so well and we all have a common interest in protecting and strengthening it,” he said.