BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army remains well-regarded for its capabilities in protecting the border, the new commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon said Tuesday after talks with Speaker Nabih Berri.
“We must continue to build on our strategic partnership with the Lebanese Armed Forces that has stood the test of time and proved critical in establishing strong bulwarks against any destabilizing impulses along the Blue Line,” Maj. Gen. Luciano Portolano said.
It was Portolano’s first meeting with Berri since assuming command of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon on July 24.
The meeting focused on the situation in southern Lebanon and the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, Portolano said.
“I assured the speaker of my firm commitment to our mandated tasks under Resolution 1701.”
“Equally important in this endeavor has been the understanding and support of the people of south Lebanon, whose safety is at the heart of our operations,” Portolano stressed.
He also hailed Berri as a “beacon of support” for UNIFIL. “I thanked him for his personal attention to our concerns and his appreciation of UNIFIL’s role in furthering our common goal for security and stability in southern Lebanon.”