Saturday, December 27, 2008

PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN UN AND LEBANESE ARMY STRESSED DURING PRESIDENT''S VISIT

PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN UN AND LEBANESE ARMY STRESSED DURING PRESIDENT''S VISIT
New York, Dec 27 2008 1:10PM
The close cooperation between United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese Army in ensuring peace and security in the country''s southern region was stressed today during a visit by President Michel Suleiman to the mission''s headquarters in Naqoura.

UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Claudio Graziano welcomed the President, noting that his presence was "a fervent expression of your sustained support and commitment" to Security Council resolution 1701, which helped end the war between Israel and Hizbollah two years ago.

The 2006 resolution also called for renewed respect for the Blue Line separating Israeli and Lebanese forces, the disarming of militias and an end to arms smuggling, among other measures.
The President''s visit also highlighted "our strategic partnership with the Lebanese Army to continue endeavours in pursuit of our shared mandate for
peace and security in southern Lebanon," stated Major-General Graziano.

The two men discussed the work of the UN peacekeepers and stressed the importance of the close cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army to ensure that the relevant provisions of resolution 1701 are fully implemented in the coming year, according to a news release issued by the mission.

The visit comes as UN peacekeepers and Lebanese troops have stepped up patrols along the border with Israel after rockets were discovered aimed at that country and ready to fire.

UN Radio reported that security forces found eight Katyusha rockets in the coastal region between Naqoura and Tair Harfa on Thursday.

UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane said UNIFIL and the Lebanese army "have deployed additional troops and intensified patrols and security control of the area."

Dec 27 2008 1:10PM

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