BEIRUT: U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous held talks in Beirut Tuesday with Lebanese officials regarding peacekeeping operations along the border and Security Council Resolution 1701.
Ladsous met with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail in Downtown Beirut, as well as with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Lebanese Army commander General Jean Kahwaji and other senior security officers, according to a statement from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
Ladsous said he was “encouraged” by the talks with leaders and their commitment to the resolution, which calls for a cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel.
“The prevailing calm in southern Lebanon has a stabilizing effect beyond the immediate area and I assured the leaders that we, UNIFIL and the U.N. headquarters, will spare no efforts in keeping it this way,” Ladsous said, according to the statement. “ Lebanon has stood up commendably to the immense challenges posed by the regional developments, and we must stand together with Lebanon in supporting this endeavor.”
“I expressed my deep appreciation for the commitment that the Lebanese Armed Forces has continued to show in working with UNIFIL on the tasks mandated by Resolution 1701, not allowing the competing demands on its resources to distract it from this critical imperative,” he continued. “We are well aware of the resource constraints the Army faces and we are making every effort at every level to garner international assistance necessary to bolster its capacity.”
Ladsous later visited UNIFIL’s headquarters in Naqoura, where he was briefed by UNIFIL head Major-General Paolo Serra on the situation along the border.
Berri said he emphasized to Ladsous that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained a prime concern.
“The Palestinian cause is the key to everything that is happening, and highlighting this point at this time is more than necessary because the cause is in jeopardy after the volcano that exploded in Iraq,” Berri told reporters after the meeting.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 25, 2014, on page 4.