Hariri :We are committed to develop Lebanon’s maritime capabilities

hariri Major General Stefano Del ColLebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri renewed his commitment to UN Security Council Resolutions 1701 and 2433, which stipulate that Lebanon should develop a plan for the enhancement and development of its maritime capabilities.

Hariri visited on Monday the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force (MTF) at the Beirut Port. He was welcomed by UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col.

The premier was briefed on a series of trainings and joint exercises conducted with the Lebanese Navy in close coordination with UNIFIL.

Hariri thanked UNIFIL and its Maritime Task Force for the work done in maintaining stability along Lebanese territorial waters and for the job they are doing in assisting the LAF Navy to enhance their capacities and capabilities.

He said: “My presence here today is to reaffirm the Lebanese Government’s commitment to UN Security Council Resolutions 1701 and 2433,” which call on Lebanon to develop a plan to increase the Lebanese naval capabilities.

“I am fully dedicated to further developing the capacities of the Lebanese Navy,” he underlined, adding: “Last week I was briefed on the final stages of this plan. I will do my utmost best to have it endorsed by the Council of Ministers before the 31st of August, the date of the renewal of the UNIFIL mandate.”

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2433 in August last year, calling on the Lebanese government to develop a plan to increase its naval capabilities, with the goal of ultimately decreasing the UNIFIL MTF towards a transitioning to LAF-Navy.

Del Col, for his part, emphasized the importance of the role of the MTF in coordinating activities with the LAF-Navy, saying: “UNIFIL’s support to the LAF-Navy is of paramount importance in monitoring territorial waters, securing Lebanese coastline and preventing the unauthorized entry of arms or related materials by sea into Lebanon as well as ensuring stability in the country.”

Asharq al Awsat

  • vs

    Hundreds of Faliestinian refugees took part in a demonstration in Beirut against the decision of the Lebanese government, which, they said, deprives them of work opportunities.

    The Ministry of Labor has published a circular prohibiting an employer from hiring foreigners who do not have a work permit. The authorities have given the parties a month to settle the status. This period ended a few days ago.

    At the same time, according to a decision taken in 2010, Faliestinian workers were given the opportunity to receive this document for free, and business owners for just a quarter of the cost. However, few of them took care of paperwork.

    Lebanon’s Labor Minister, Camille Abu Suleiman, said that the new ruling was not directed against Faliestinian refugees. According to him, the authorities are ready to show flexibility and assist the “Faliestinian brothers.”

    As a result of these contradictory statements, the Faiestinians were completely confused. Many protesters recognize that the ruling is not without logic, but they claim that its practical implementation will be discriminatory.

    Recall that the Faliestinian-Israeli settlement plan developed by the US administration calls for the permanent resettlement of refugees in the states that have accepted them. The “deal of the century” provides for the allocation of six billion dollars to Lebanon in exchange for granting civil rights to the Faliestinians.

    However, the Lebanese authorities refused to do so. “We will not allow Faliestinian refugees to remain in Lebanon without exercising their right to return,” said a statement issued by the office of the head of parliament, Nabi Berri.