UNIFIL chief calls for 'constructive outcomes' on contentious issues along Blue Line
Chairing his first Tripartite meeting with senior Lebanese and Israeli officers, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lázaro expressed his hope to use the forum "to move beyond the delivery of statements to emphasize finding solutions."
The UNIFIL Head made the comments at a meeting held in Ras al-Naqoura, Lebanon.
Taking a "practical and pragmatic" approach, Lázaro expressed his goal to "reach constructive outcomes" through the Tripartite structure and UNIFIL's other liaison and coordination mechanisms, a UNIFIL statement said.
"The importance of the Tripartite mechanism is underscored by the Security Council as a vital tool to defuse tensions and avoid miscalculations," he told the attendees. "We in this room are responsible for achieving this. To do so will require constructive conversations and looking for win-win solutions," he added.
Issues discussed included incidents along the Blue Line, airspace violations, and serious breaches of the cessation of hostilities in violation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701. Major General Lázaro also called on the parties to move on marking points along the Blue Line that have previously been agreed.
UNIFIL’s Tripartite mechanism was established immediately following the 2006 war to coordinate the withdrawal of the Israeli army from southern Lebanon and the handover, through UNIFIL, to the Lebanese Army. It has evolved into a forum to help the Lebanese and Israeli armies "reach pragmatic agreements on contentious issues, and to build trust and confidence between the parties," the UNIFIL statement said.
"These meetings have proven essential to managing conflict and maintaining the stability that has prevailed along the Blue Line since 2006," it added.