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The UN Interim Force in Lebanon plays a critical role in maintaining peace and stability: UK Statement at the Security Council

Let me begin by joining others to thank France for their efforts as penholder.

In the spirit of compromise and consensus, The UK has voted in favour today.

The UK is a strong supporter of UNIFIL. It plays a critical role in maintaining peace and stability across the Blue Line, preventing any further escalation that would be catastrophic for the region.

Resolution 1701 has always been clear – UNIFIL is authorised to take all necessary action to ensure the freedom of movement of its personnel and to fulfil its duties.  This resolution clearly upholds that principle.

We are pleased the language clarifying UNIFIL’s long-standing mandate to exercise freedom of movement – which allows UNIFIL to conduct independent patrols and respond quickly to blue-line violations, and was added last year to that end, has been retained. However, it is unacceptable that UNIFIL is still unable to access some locations along the Blue Line border, including Green Without Borders sites. Particularly given Hezbollah’s self-acknowledged stockpiling of weapons in violation of resolution 1701.

The support UNIFIL provides to the Lebanese Armed Forces [LAF] has had a positive impact on the situation across the Blue Line. So, it is disappointing that the logistical support – an important signal of cooperation – was removed from this year’s mandate. The UK has long been a proud supporter of the Lebanese Armed Forces and we will continue our support to the LAF and Internal Security Forces in Lebanon as the pillars of Lebanon’s stability.

With this mandate passing we look to UNIFIL to provide stability that Lebanon needs and we pay tribute to its personnel.

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