BEIRUT: U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson emphasized the need for continued coordination between the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces, a statement from UNIFIL said.
“Cooperation between LAF and UNIFIL is critical for the successful implementation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701,” said Eliasson.
“The continued support and assistance of the international community to the LAF is therefore vital,” said the official during a visit to the mission's headquarters in South Lebanon.
Eliasson held meetings with Force Commander Major-General Paolo Serra and the mission’s senior leadership.
Eliasson also lauded UNIFIL’s contribution to peace and security in the area and said the mission succeeded in maintaining peace in the south in light of the tense regional situation.
“South Lebanon has witnessed a period of unprecedented calm thanks to the work of the mission, the strong liaison and coordination arrangements, the commitment of the parties as well as the excellent peacekeeping partnership between the LAF and UNIFIL,” said Eliasson. “All these elements are critical to maintaining stability in the area at a time of heightened tensions in the region.”
The U.N. official arrived in Lebanon over the weekend and will chair the meeting of the U.N. Regional Coordination Mechanism for the Arab States in the capital Monday.
The meeting, the 17th its kind, is scheduled to take place at the U.N. House, Downtown Beirut, according to ESCWA.
Eliasson, who arrived at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport Saturday, is scheduled to meet with Lebanon’s three leaders, President Michel Sleiman, House Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, alongside a number of other Lebanese figures.