Portolano chairs tripartite security meeting in Naqoura

FEBRUARY 4, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) The Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Major-General Luciano Portolano, today chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the UN Position at Ras Al Naqoura crossing.

In light of the events of 28th January, much of the discussion centered on ensuring a return to calm and stability in UNIFIL’s area of operations. In addition to the recent incidents, the participants discussed the implementation of relevant provisions of UN Security Council resolution 1701 under UNIFIL’s mandate, including air and ground violations, the ongoing visible marking of the Blue Line and the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northernGhajar.

Major-General Portolano said: “I conveyed the UN Secretary-General message of concern over the serious deterioration of the security situation, to refrain from any action that could undermine the stability of the area and to act responsibly to prevent any escalation in an already tenseregional environment. The Secretary-General urged respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region, and adherence to all relevant Security Council resolutions.

“I was re-assured by both sides of their commitment to using liaison and coordination channels, including the tripartite mechanism to preserve stability and prevent any further escalation of the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations.”

The Force Commander emphasized that the situation in UNIFIL’s AO is now stable and under control.