UAE welcomes preservation of UNIFIL's independence in UN Security Council vote

Envoy says UAE's main priority is to improve the council's support for the force's efforts to maintain calm and stability in South Lebanon, and the region

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By WAM

Published: Thu 31 Aug 2023, 10:36 PM

Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, welcomed the UN Security Council's renewal of the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which incorporated a number of key UAE proposals.

In a statement explaining the UAE's vote in favour of resolution 2695, Ambassador Nusseibeh underscored that the UAE's main priority in the negotiations leading up to today's adoption was to improve the UN Security Council's support for UNIFIL's efforts to maintain calm and stability in South Lebanon, and the region.

The UAE advanced language that reinforced UNIFIL's independence and stressed the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon to facilitate the Force's unhindered access to "all locations of interest" in its area of operations.

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Additionally, the UAE was successful in including, for the first time, a specific mention of the need for UNIFIL to access unauthorised firing ranges and preserving last year's emphasis on unrestricted "announced and unannounced patrols" by UN peacekeepers.

However, Ambassador Nusseibeh highlighted the UAE's disappointment with the resolution's needless omission of an "unqualified reference" to Israeli's occupation of the Lebanese village, Al Ghajar. She further criticised the council's hesitation to identify Hezbollah as undermining UNIFIL's ability to implement its mandate.

Ambassador Nusseibeh outlined Hezbollah's responsibility for tensions on the Blue Line escalating to a "level unseen since the 2006 war", including through its consistent violations of UNSC Resolutions 1559 and 1701. She further described the organisation's role in perpetuating Lebanon's crises and obstructing the investigation into the 2022 explosion at the Port of Beirut.

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The UAE's statement also affirmed that "no amount of accommodation will change the fact that the pursuit of progress in Lebanon through partnership with Hezbollah has only yielded disappointment and misery, not least of all for the people of Lebanon."

Ambassador Nusseibeh concluded by reiterating that the UAE continues to be guided by placing the interests of the Lebanese people, and the entire region above all other considerations.

WAM

Published: Thu 31 Aug 2023, 10:36 PM

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