UNIFIL Head Meets Hariri, Hails ‘Unprecedented Calm’ in South

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary held talks Tuesday with Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut, the U.N. force said in a statement.

“I was extremely encouraged by this first meeting with Prime Minister Hariri. I was pleased to have this opportunity just weeks after he assumed office to brief him on UNIFIL’s mission and related developments in south Lebanon,” Beary said after the meeting.

“I informed the Prime Minister that the situation along the Blue Line and in the UNIFIL area of operations remains calm, and that the parties have reiterated their commitment to resolution 1701 and to upholding the cessation of hostilities,” he added.

The major general also briefed Hariri on the upcoming visit of a U.N. delegation that will conduct a “Strategic Review” of UNIFIL aimed at improving the mission’s “effectiveness and efficiency,” and to ensure that the Mission is “best configured and resourced to deliver on its mandate.”

“In the tense regional situation, it is all the more important for both parties (Lebanon and Israel) to continue working with UNIFIL to address developing issues and prevent any escalation along the Blue Line,” Beary added.

Hariri for his part voiced support for UNIFIL and “acknowledged the importance of the work we are doing together with the Lebanese Armed Forces to maintain a safe and secure environment in the South,” the general said.

He also noted that UNIFIL will not allow “any miscalculation or misunderstanding” to lead to an “outbreak of tension or conflict in the area.”

“It is important for the Government of Lebanon to continue to take advantage of this unprecedented calm that south Lebanon has enjoyed for more than 10 years,” Beary went on to say.