UNIFIL: The gen. Portolano presides over meetings with Lebanese and Israelis


General Luciano Portolano, Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL, directed, today, the periodic so-called '' tripartite '' meeting between the High Representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces, at the UN garrison station from the Italian Blue Helmets of the Regiment "Cavalleggeri Guide (19 °)" located in Ras Naqoura along the Blue Line.

The main topic of today's discussions was the return to calm and stability in the UNIFIL area of ​​operations, in the light of the serious incident of 28 January last. In addition, the participants discussed issues of particular relevance for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, including the state of the art of the Blue Line visualization process on the ground through the agreed positioning of the pillars " Blue Barrels ”, the violations, air and ground, and the withdrawal of the Israeli Armed Forces from the north of Ghajar.

General Portolano opened the discussion by reporting the message of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, of deep concern over the sharp deterioration of security conditions in southern Lebanon, urging the parties to refrain from any kind of action that could destabilize the area and operate responsibly to prevent any escalation in an already tense region.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the commander of UNIFIL stated that "the parties have assured their commitment to use all forms, at various levels, of liaison and coordination with UNIFIL, including the tripartite meeting, to preserve stability and prevent any further worsening of conditions in the Responsibility Area ".

The general also stressed that the situation is currently stable and under control. UNIFIL has intensified its control of the Operations Area, directing its efforts along the Blue Line, especially in the east sector and in the Shab'a area and south of the Maritime Operations Area. In addition, foot patrols in urban centers and counter rocket launching operations were increased, activities conducted, in close coordination with the LAF, for preventive and deterrent purposes, for the control of areas potentially suitable or already used for rocket launching. .  

The so-called "tripartite" meeting represents the only means, recognized by Lebanon and Israel, which do not have any kind of diplomatic relations, for discussing issues of vital importance for maintaining the cessation of hostilities and for finding common solutions agreement on disputes pending along the Blue Line. In the current turbulent regional context, this mechanism represents a valid "confidence building" tool aimed at deconflicting and containing any incident or violation that could degenerate into more serious crises.

Source: Unifil MPIO, magg. Fabrizio Farese