New UNIFIL commander pledges to ensure continued cessation of ´hostilities´ and respect for ´Blue Line´

The newly appointed commander of the United Nations forces operating in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL), Spanish Major General Aroldo Lazaro Sainz, pledged to strive to ensure the continuation of the "cessation of hostilities" and to promote respect for the "Blue Line" on the Lebanese-Israeli border by both parties.

This came in a speech delivered by Major General Lazaro Sainz during a ceremony to receive the command of UNIFIL at its headquarters in the Lebanese border town of Naqoura from its outgoing commander, Major General Stefano Del Col, in the presence of Lebanese Defense Minister Maurice Slim and Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles Fernandes.

He pointed out that "in the event of any incident, we will resort to communication mechanisms, as well as to the Lebanese-Israeli tripartite international meeting in order to facilitate coordination, defuse tension and restore calm in the region."

Regular monthly meetings have been held under the UNIFIL leadership between Lebanese and Israeli officers at UNIFIL headquarters in southern Lebanon since the end of the 2006 war, as a primary conflict management mechanism.

Major General Lazaro Sainz affirmed the continuation of the "close" cooperation with the Lebanese Army, its support and assistance, as it is the "strategic partner of UNIFIL".

He expressed his confidence that “by maintaining the current pace of the army’s joint missions with UNIFIL, we can ensure stability in the UNIFIL area of ​​operations and along the Blue Line and extend the presence and reinforcement of the authority of the Lebanese state in the area of ​​operations, which may constitute a serious step to mobilize the conditions towards a political solution.” and a diplomat.”

He praised the countries contributing to the UNIFIL and their strong support for it, considering that "their presence, communication and coordination have contributed significantly to maintaining relative calm in the UNIFIL area of ​​operations over the past 16 years."

In his turn, Major General Del Col pointed out in his speech that "stability along the Blue Line is still fragile and vulnerable to regional fluctuations," noting the UNIFIL's keenness to ensure the existence of communication channels to reduce tensions and prevent escalation.

He called on the parties concerned to "respect the Blue Line and refrain from any action that would destabilize the cessation of hostilities."

And the “Blue Line” is the 120-kilometre long line drawn by the United Nations between Lebanon and Israel in 2000, of which Lebanon reserves 17 points, and was established with the aim of verifying the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon. Between the two countries.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, had appointed Spanish Major General Lazaro Sainz as the commander of UNIFIL, to succeed the Italian Major General Del Col.

And the new UNIFIL commander was the Adviser to the Ministry of Defense for Defense and Security Affairs in Spain, and according to the official website of the United Nations, he has extensive international experience and has been dispatched to several peacekeeping operations.

Major General Lazaro Sainz also served in UNIFIL for 16 years as Liaison Officer, Chief of Staff and Commander of Sector East.

UNIFIL has been operating in southern Lebanon since 1978 to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, and was reinforced in 2006 by Security Council Resolution 1701 that put an end to the war between Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah in July of the same year.

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