Lebanon: UN Force Commander meets with Lebanese, Israeli officials
The Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) met today with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to discuss recent violence in the region.
The talks, held by Major-General Claudio Graziano at the UN Position at the border crossing at Ras Al Naqoura, focused on carrying out Security Council resolution 1701, which ended last year’s war between Israel and Hizbollah, and the recent incidents in the Force’s area of operations.
In particular, participants discussed “the launch of rockets from Lebanese territory into Israel on 17 July and the terrorist attack on a UNIFIL convoy on 24 July,” the mission said in a news release.
The representatives of the IDF and LAF conveyed their condolences on the tragic loss of six UNIFIL peacekeepers who died during the 24 July attack on a patrol near the town of Khiyam in what initial investigations indicate was caused by a remotely-detonated car bomb.
They also expressed their full support and readiness to work together with UNIFIL to prevent a recurrence, the Force said.
Maj.-Gen. Graziano thanked the representatives, and added that UNIFIL’s peacekeepers were not deterred by the terrorist attack.
“I assured the parties that UNIFIL peacekeepers remain committed more than ever to implementing the tasks mandated by resolution 1701. This was not only an attack against UNIFIL. It was also an attack against peace and security in the area, and against the interests of the Lebanese people,” he said.
Those attending the meeting also discussed the marking of the Blue Line and the temporary security arrangements for the northern part of the village of Ghajar.
“This meeting was constructive and we made progress on these issues,” Maj.-Gen. Graziano said. “We hope to reach an understanding soon concerning the temporary security arrangements in northern Ghajar which would facilitate the withdrawal of the IDF from the Lebanese territory.”