National Armed Forces join the UN Interim Force in Lebanon
Troops of National Armed Forces of Latvia have left for Lebanon to join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
‘Participation of Latvia in the international peacekeeping mission will contribute to attainment of international cooperation goals. It will also strengthen operational and tactical cooperation between Latvian troops and Italian armed forces. Our soldiers will gain extremely valuable experience while operating in an international environment,’ Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece stressed.
Latvia will initially send three officers who will join the headquarters element of the UNIFIL. They will be followed by a 30-men infantry platoon, expanding the Latvian force within the UNIFIL.
The main tasks of Latvian contingent within the UN Interim Force in Lebanon will include monitoring and confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, restoring of international peace and security, and assisting the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.
As reported earlier, Latvian parliament, Saeima, approved participation of Latvian troops in the international peacekeeping mission of the UN in Lebanon on 20 April. Latvian troops will join the UNIFIL for the period mandated by the UN Security Council resolution or until 31 August 2023. If Security Council decides to extend the mandate of the UNIFIL, Latvia will automatically extend its participation in the mission.
Ministry of Defence and National Armed Forces have decided to partner up for the Mission with Italy, which has already been part of UNIFIL for many years, to make the integration of Latvian contingent into UNIFIL as successful and efficient as possible. Italy is also one of the UNIFIL’s biggest framework nations. Italy joined the Mission in 1979. It has been very active since and become the second largest contributor to the international effort. Italy is also an important part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia.
Head of the Media Relations Section
Military Public Affairs Department