UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col chaired a second special Tripartite meeting since the COVID-19 outbreak with senior officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at a 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 UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701.
Major General Del Col called on the parties to fully utilize UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination channels to notify about any activities they plan close to the Blue Line, so that UNIFIL could undertake the necessary coordination to prevent potential misunderstandings.
“I ask you to continue to focus your efforts at maintaining stability,” he said. “You have the ability and responsibility to prevent unwanted escalations in tension along the Blue Line.”
He underlined UNIFIL’s confidence-building and conflict mitigation efforts and asked that the parties fully avail of “the opportunities to deconflict and enhance stability along the Blue Line.” To this end, he called on the parties to “avoid activities that could be deemed provocative by the other side, or that otherwise have the potential to escalate with uncontrollable consequences.”
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.