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U.N. official inspects UNIFIL mission

UNIFIL Commader Maj. Gen. Paolo Serra, left, and U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous, walk at Beirut airport on Saturday, May 11, 2013. (The Daily Star/HO)

BEIRUT: United Nations official for peacekeeping operations Herve Ladsous inspected Lebanon's peacekeeping mission over the weekend, according to U.N. officials.

Ladsous is on a five-day visit to the region’s peacekeeping missions. He arrived to Lebanon Saturday and held meetings with senior U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon officials and will visit sensitive areas along the Blue Line with Israel.

He paid a visit to UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force (MTF) at the Beirut port and was on board the force’s flagship ‘Constituicao’ from Brazil. Ladsous was briefed by the MTF Commander, Rear Admiral Joese Leandro, on the activities of the MTF and its cooperation with the Lebanese Army’s Navy.

Ladsous praised the MTF and the Army for demonstrating professionalism and commitment towards their responsibilities under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701

“The continued efforts of the Task Force and strategic cooperation with the Lebanese Army’s Navy are critical,” a UNIFIL statement quoted him as saying.

UNIFIL MTF is the first naval task force ever to take part in a U.N. peacekeeping mission. It was first deployed in 2006, at the request of the Lebanese government, to help prevent unauthorized entry of arms into the country.

Ladsous also visited the headquarters of UNIFIL in Naqoura, where he was briefed by the peacekeeping force’s Commander Maj. Gen. Paolo Serra as well as civilian and military personnel on the mission’s operations. He inspected a UNIFIL honor guard and laid a wreath in memory of fallen peacekeepers.

“It is clear to me that the strategic partnership between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army is vital for the successful implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate,” Ladsous said.

“It is imperative that the international community provides the necessary technical and material resources to the LAF so that it can effectively deliver on its important tasks under resolution 1701 and the United Nations," he said.

 

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