Defence Minister will visit Finnish peacekeepers in Lebanon
Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen will visit Lebanon 14 to 17 October 2019, the Finnish Ministry of Defence informed.
In addition to meeting Finnish peacekeeping personnel who participate in the United Nations' multinational UNIFIL operation, Minister Kaikkonen will meet Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab and Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL Major General Stefano Del Col.
The programme also includes a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial of fallen Finnish peacekeepers in the Finnish base.
200 soldiers serving
Started in 1978, the aim of the UN-led UNIFIL operation is to bring stability and security to the area. Finland has participated in the operation over four decades; in 1982-2001, again in 2006-2007, and since 2012.
The around 200 Finnish peacekeepers who are currently serving in Lebanon are part of the French-led Force Commander's Reserve (FCR). The most important tasks of the operation are to control the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, support the Lebanese Armed Forces and assist the population.
The visit will be hosted by Commander of the Finnish crisis-management troops, Lieutenant Colonel Tapio Huhtamella.