UNIFIL Head of Mission pays farewell visits to Lebanese leaders

As part of his farewell visits with the Lebanese authorities, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, met today in Beirut with President Michel Aoun and other high-ranking officials.

In separate meetings, the UNIFIL head also met with the Caretaker Minister of Defense, Yaacoub Sarraf, and the Caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Gebran Bassil.

In all of the meetings, Major General Beary expressed his appreciation for the support provided by the Government of Lebanon in the implementation of UNIFIL's mandated tasks and complimented the efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), UNIFIL's strategic partner.

"Significant progress has been made by LAF," said Major General Beary after the meetings, stressing the importance for Lebanon to continue to demonstrate progress in enhancing LAF's capacity and presence in UNIFIL's area of operation south of the Litani river. "The past few years have witnessed a period of overall stability and calm that is historically unprecedented in the area, which has benefitted the people of south Lebanon enormously," added Major General Beary.

In the days leading up to his departure on 7 August, the UNIFIL head will continue to meet with various Lebanese officials, members of the diplomatic corps and fellow peacekeepers.

Major General Beary is leaving UNIFIL after two years at the helm of the UN peacekeeping mission, and after serving three previous tours of duty in south Lebanon. He will be replaced by Major General Stefano Del Col of Italy.

Source: National News Agency

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