Portolino meets Moqbel, supports government’s efforts to boost Army potentials

OCTOBER 27, 2014 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano on Monday met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Samir Moqbel with discussions focusing on the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations and issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Conferees discussed coordination and cooperation with the Lebanese Army Command to address the air, land and sea violations of Resolution (1701), especially with regard to the surveillance and jamming towers set up by the Israeli enemy behind the Blue Line.

Following the meeting, Major-General Portolano said: “We had a very positive meeting. I expressed to Minister Moqbel my sincere condolences for the loss of Lebanese Armed Forces soldiers during the ongoing clashes in the north of the country. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the commitment of LAF soldiers and officers, and the sacrifices they are making for their country under very challenging circumstances.”

“I conveyed my particular appreciation for the fact that notwithstanding the immense security responsibilities elsewhere in the country, the LAF continues to work closely with UNIFIL in our area of operations and stands forth as a strong symbol of Lebanon’s commitment to resolution 1701.”

“Within the scope of our mandate, we must continue to build on our strategic partnership with the LAF in southern Lebanon. In this context, I assured the Honorable Minister of our continued support to the efforts of the Lebanese government to strengthen LAF’s capacity,” he said.