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Lebanon Stresses Territorial Sovereignty in Tripartite Meeting

Lebanon Stresses Territorial Sovereignty in Tripartite Meeting

Friday, 19 October, 2018 - 09:00
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeepers watch as Israeli workers build a wall near the border with Israel, near the village of Naqoura, Lebanon March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Beirut- Asharq Al-Awsat
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Stefano Del Col, chaired on Thursday a tripartite meeting with senior officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israeli forces at the UN position in Ras Al Naqoura.

The discussions focused on issues related to the situation in the UN Peacekeeping Mission’s area of operations, especially along the Blue Line.

Established by the UN after Israel’s withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in 2000, the Blue Line is intended to demarcate the border between the two countries.

Discussions also tackled cooperation of the parties with UNIFIL towards implementation of its mandated tasks, the optimal use of the Mission’s liaison and coordination mechanisms to maintain the prevailing calm along the Blue Line, and air and ground violations, including the withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.

According to a Lebanese army statement, the Lebanese delegation -- headed by Brigadier-General Amin Farahat -- briefed UNIFIL officials on Israeli violations of Lebanon’s air, land and sea borders.

Delegation members also reiterated calls for an Israeli military withdrawal from Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Kafr Shuba regions.

Major General Del Col complemented the parties for working through UNIFIL’s tripartite forum and liaison mechanisms in de-escalating tensions and reiterated his call for building on the calm to achieve a permanent ceasefire.

“The situation in the UNIFIL Area of Operation remains calm despite the volatile situation in the region,” said Major General Del Col. “I am pleased that coordination and communication through our liaison channels are being effectively used,” he said, while stressing that “UNIFIL remains available at all times to provide the requisite assets to assist in maintaining calm and minimizing tension.”

Tripartite meetings have been held regularly under the auspices of UNIFIL since the end of the 2006 war in south Lebanon. They have become an essential conflict management and confidence building mechanism between the parties.

UNIFIL currently has around 10,500 peacekeepers who carry out some 14,000 operational activities per month, by day and night, in the area of operations. The mission also has more than 800 civilian staff. UNIFIL is complemented by a six-vessel Maritime Task Force.

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