Tuesday, December 28, 2010


New York, Dec 28 2010 Lebanese President Michel Sleiman today reaffirmed his country’s “consensus” support for the United Nations peacekeeping operation that was strengthened in 2006 as part of the agreement that ended fighting between Israel and Hizbollah. On a visit to UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) headquarters at Naqoura in southern Lebanon, he was briefed by Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas, who underscored the importance of the ongoing coordinated operations between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army.
Maj.-Gen. Asarta stressed that UNIFIL will continue working in pursuit of the common shared mandate for peace and security in southern Lebanon, calling the presidential visit “a demonstration of Lebanon’s support and commitment… to our strategic partnership. “The achievements reached so far are testament to the excellent relations and cooperation that exist between the Lebanese Armed Forces and UNIFIL,” he added. Mr. Sleiman was accompanied by Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Kahwagi and other senior officers.
Originally created by the Security Council in March 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, UNIFIL was reinforced after the July-August 2006 fighting, with the added mandate to monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.