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UNIFIL press statement: Tripartite meeting held today, 26 January 2012

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The Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas, today chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the UN Position at Ras Al Naqoura crossing.

During the meeting all the issues relevant to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 were discussed, including the situation along the Line of Withdrawal (Blue Line), the ongoing visible marking of the Blue Line, violations and incidents as well as the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.

This was the last meeting chaired by Major-General Asarta, who completes his tour of duty on 28 January. On this occasion the Force Commander reflected on the significant progress made in the implementation of resolution 1701 in the context of UNIFIL’s mandate and the pivotal role of the tripartite forum in this success.

“This success has been largely due to the comprehensive liaison and coordination arrangements put in place by UNIFIL, particularly this Tripartite forum,” he said, noting that the cessation of hostilities and respect for the Blue Line have been generally upheld.

Major-General Asarta expressed appreciation for the importance the parties have attached to the tripartite forum and said that whereas there have been notable achievements on the military-operational level, a lot of work remains to be done.

To this end, he stressed the importance of the commitment of the parties to continue working with UNIFIL within the scope of resolution 1701.

Major-General Paolo Serra, who is due to assume command of UNIFIL on 28 January, also attended the meeting.