UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col 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 in Ras Al Naqoura.
Discussions focused on the situation along the Blue Line, air and ground violations as well as other issues within the scope of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and related resolutions.
Noting that the situation in the UNIFIL area of operations remains calm, Major General Del Col underlined the importance of proactive initiatives to further strengthen the security infrastructure along the Blue Line as a step towards sustainable peace.
“We must believe that peace is possible; and indeed, peace can begin from you in the tripartite,” the UNIFIL head stated, noting that the onus was on the parties to take advantage of UNIFIL’s facilitation to move forward in this direction.
To that end, Del Col called for creating renewed momentum in the Blue Line marking process by working on non-contentious Blue Line points as a “constructive confidence-building measure” that could be leveraged to resolve in parallel the contentious areas so that the Blue Line could be marked in its entirety.
He added that continued use of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanism – especially when planning to carry out works in or around contentious or sensitive areas – would reduce points of friction, ease tension and significantly contribute to the overall calm prevailing between the parties on the ground.
The UNIFIL head also reiterated his call on the parties that any activity close to the Blue Line should be predictable, with sufficient prior notification to allow for coordination, so as to avoid misunderstandings and prevent incidents.
Tripartite meetings have been held regularly under the auspices of UNIFIL since the end of the 2006 war in south Lebanon as an essential conflict management and confidence building mechanism.