UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano today held his last meeting before leaving his post next month with ambassadors of UNIFIL Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, and the European Union Delegation to Lebanon, in the capital, Beirut.
In the meeting with the ambassadors and the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Christina Markus Lassen, Major-General Portolano expressed his sincere gratitude to all troop contributors and other international partners for their support to UNIFIL and him personally during his two years at the helm of the UN peacekeeping mission.
Among other things, he outlined UNIFIL’s efforts towards enhancing the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) through the strategic dialogue process as a vital necessity to strengthen their capacity as well as reiterating the critical importance of continued international support to LAF.
“In this process, we are working closely with the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, the UN agencies in the country and international partners including UNIFIL’s troop contributing countries in exploring the possibility to equip, train and provide assistance to LAF in order to enable it to fulfil its mandated tasks under the UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006),” he said.
The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Sigrid Kaag, also addressed the meeting.
The UNIFIL Head of Mission also briefed the participants on the situation in the UNIFIL area of operations, noting the continued calm and stability in the area in the face of an increasingly complex regional security scenario.
“The success of the Mission is a combination of several important elements working in close coordination: UNIFIL’s close partnership with the Lebanese Armed Forces and security agencies, as well as the strong support to the Mission from the Government and local authorities, religious leaders, the people of South Lebanon, the international community and the strong support of the TCCs,” he added.
Today, UNIFIL has more than 10,000 military personnel from 40 countries, including the Maritime Task Force, the only naval force in peacekeeping operations – and around 1,000 civilian national and international staff.
Source: National News Agency