NNA – UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today 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, the UNIFIL said in a press release on Monday.

Discussions centred around the liaison and coordination arrangements provided by UNIFIL to ensure that there is no misunderstanding or miscalculation along the Blue Line in order to ensure a continued climate of calm and stability.

There has been great attention on this tripartite meeting due to 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. Today’s discussions were useful and allowed both parties to assert their positions. It was agreed to continue to use the Tripartite forum to address the issue.

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General 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.

“UNIFIL stands ready 24/7 for any follow-up meetings,” the Head of Mission/Force Commander told both parties, while encouraging them to “examine the benefits that can be achieved by reaching agreement through close coordination.”

Both sides also confirmed their commitment to further use UNIFIL’s tripartite and liaison mechanisms to address any issues that could provide potential for tensions and to minimize the scope for any possible misunderstandings among the parties.

They also reaffirmed their support in the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) and the operational paragraphs of Security Council resolution 2373 (2017).

“We have again experienced a period of relative calm in the Area of Operation (AO) since our last meeting,” said Major General Beary.

Source: National News Agency