Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Tripartite Meeting Discusses UNIFIL Coordination in South Lebanon

Tripartite Meeting Discusses UNIFIL Coordination in South Lebanon

Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 - 08:00
Peacekeepers of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) stand near their vehicles in the Lebanese village of Labbouneh. (Reuters)
Beirut - Asharq al-Awsat
A tripartite meeting was held on Monday between Lebanese Army officers and the Israeli army at a United Nations post at the Ras al-Naqoura crossing, chaired by UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary.

The meeting was aimed at discussing UNIFIL liaison and coordination arrangements to avoid any misunderstanding or misjudgment along the Blue Line.

“Beary chaired the first tripartite meeting of 2018 with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura,” an official statement by UNIFIL said, adding that talks have centered around the liaison and coordination arrangements provided by UNIFIL to guarantee that there is “no misunderstanding or miscalculation along the Blue Line in order to ensure a continued climate of calm and stability.”

The statement added that great attention was paid to the ongoing engineering works south of the Blue Line previously announced by the Israeli side.

“UNIFIL’s position on the construction works proposed by the IDF is that any activity close to the Blue Line should be predictable, with sufficient prior notification to allow for coordination by the parties, so as to avoid misunderstandings and prevent incidents,” the statement noted.

UNIFIL also noted that the meeting represented an opportunity for both parties to assert their positions and to agree on using the tripartite forum to address common issues.

Beary welcomed the confidence expressed by both parties in its liaison, coordination arrangements and the Tripartite forum to help facilitate the calm and stability that has been achieved in southern Lebanon, the statement read.

“UNIFIL stands ready 24/7 for any follow-up meetings,” Beary stressed according to the statement, noting: “We have again experienced a period of relative calm in the Area of Operation (AO) since our last meeting... However, there has been a great deal of activity along the Blue Line. I would like to acknowledge the restraint exercised by both parties in decreasing tension and maintaining stability. No one wants to return to a period of escalating tensions and a breach of the cessation of hostilities.”

Editor Picks