President Michel Aoun on Tuesday met with UNIFIL commander, General Stefano Del Cole, and asked him to investigate reasons for the violation of a Greek oil exploration vessel, operating for the Israeli Army, Lebanese territorial waters for a duration of 3 hours. The President stressed that “Lebanon rejects any violation of its legitimate rights within its territorial waters”, considering that “Israeli naval violations, of Lebanese sovereignty, are no less dangerous than land and air violations, which Israel continues to carry out”.
During the meeting, which was attended by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Salim Jreisatti, and the delegation accompanying Del Cole, President Aoun said that “Lebanon is keen to activate the existing cooperation between the Lebanese Army and the UNIFIL, in order to maintain stability, and address issues raised through dialogue and coordination”. The President appreciated the efforts exerted by the international leadership to maintain stability along the Blue Line Border, reaffirming Lebanon’s adherence to Resolution 1701.
General Del Cole informed President Aoun about the results of his visit to New York and the meeting he had held with international officials, indicating that these meetings were devoted to tackling the situation in Southern Lebanon. Del Cole had also visited Washington and met with a number of US officials and discussed with them the situation of UNIFIL, and its need for continuous funding for carrying the tasks assigned in Resolution 1701. The research also touched on the results of Lebanese-International-Israeli meeting in the Tripartite Committee, which meets periodically at the International Command headquarters, in Naqoura.
Afterwards, President Aoun telegrammed congratulations to the newly elected Algerian President, Abdul Majid Taboun, and stressed his keenness to strengthen brotherly relations between Lebanon and Algeria, and to enhance cooperation between the two countries in all fields.