Aoun urges UN to keep maritime forces in Lebanon

General Stefano Del Col,
General Stefano Del Col,

President Michel Aoun called on the UN Friday to keep maritime forces in Lebanon until the Lebanese army builds its maritime capacity, Lebanon Presidency’s website reported.

“It is important to keep the UNIFIL’s maritime forces until we are able to increase our capacities despite our financial difficulties,” Aoun was quoted as saying during his meeting with Stefano Del Col, head of mission and force commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Aoun also praised the UN Security Council Resolution 2485 which extends the mandate of the UNIFIL without any modifications in its duties and responsibilities.

“We also appreciate the UN Security Council’s condemnation of Israeli violations along the Blue Line,” he added.

On Aug. 31, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force for another year under UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

The UNIFIL has been operating in southern Lebanon since 1978 to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

At present, the UNIFIL has over 10,000 troops from 43 countries.

(Xinhua)