UNIFIL, IDF to improve coordination

UNIFIL commander says "mechanism to avoid misunderstandings" must be found.

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February 12, 2007 21:25
1 minute read.
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Less than a week after IDF troops clashed with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) north of Avivim, IDF officers met with LAF officers and newly-appointed UNIFIL commander Maj.-Gen. Claudio Graziano on Monday in an effort to improve coordination and prevent clashes. The meeting took place at the UN position at the Ras el-Nakoura border crossing, just north of Rosh Hanikra. UNIFIL submitted a report about last week's incident to the LAF and the IDF. Both parties agreed with UNIFIL's recommendation to improve coordination to prevent clashes. UNIFIL has set up an office at Northern Command headquarters in Safed. It is being manned by two officers, whose job, IDF sources said, was to liaise with the IDF and relay information on incidents in real time to prevent violence and misunderstandings. The parties also discussed the continued IDF presence in the northern part of Ghajar, which is split in half by the Blue Line international border between Lebanon and Israel. Graziano asked the IDF to expedite its withdrawal from the village in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701. "I consider these meetings extremely important and the right mechanism to address the concerns of the parties and to avoid misunderstandings," he said. "The focus of today's meeting was on how to improve UNIFIL's liaison and coordination with both the LAF and IDF in order to prevent the recurrence of similar events."

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