Lebanese army vows continued cooperation with UN peacekeepers to ensure security in south

Chen Zhuo

BEIRUT, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) will continue its cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to ensure security in South Lebanon, LAF Commander Joseph Aoun said on Tuesday.

"Our continuous cooperation preserves stability and security in the south while reflecting positively on the stability of Lebanon in general," Aoun said during a meeting with UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Stefano Del Col at the UNIFIL headquarters in south Lebanon.

Aoun pledged the LAF's "full support" to Del Col for the success of his mission, the UNIFIL website.

"The excellent cooperation and coordination between the two forces has dramatically improved the security situation and been instrumental in providing the stability to UNIFIL's area of operations," Aoun said.

For his part, Del Col emphasized the importance of building on the momentum of an already enhanced presence of UNIFIL and LAF coordination, noting that a priority for the international community and UNIFIL is to further build the capacity of LAF in southern Lebanon.

"The establishment of the (LAF) Model Regiment, for example, is an important step forward to extend state authority and security, and preserve stability," Del Col said.

He added that the two sides have "a common intent" to ensure stability in the area of operations and ensure that the area is free of unauthorized weapons and hostile activities of any kind.



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