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Color guard of Estonian unit participates in UNIFIL anniversary parade

BC, Tallinn, 21.03.2018.Print version

The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission this year is celebrating 40 years since the beginning of the mission and a color guard of the Estonian contingent participated in the parade held at the anniversary lineup, informs LETA/BNS.

The 40th anniversary of the start of the UNIFIL peacekeeping mission was celebrated with a ceremonial lineup at the UNIFIL headquarters located in Naqoura in South Lebanon and the Estonian contingent serving in Lebanon participated in the parade with a color guard, spokespeople at the headquarters of the Estonian defense forces said.

"We understand that today is not a day for festivities, but rather the time for looking back and commemorating," head of the UNIFIL mission Maj. Gen. Michael Beary said in a speech made at the lineup, adding that Lebanon has enjoyed peace since 2006, the last two years of which have been one of the most peaceful of the mission. "We are working with our local partners around the clock to maintain this peace and create all conditions for the signing of a final and lasting peace agreement," Beary said.

The lineup was attended by guests from the Lebanese government organizations and security forces, representatives of countries contributing to UNIFIL and color guards. Wreaths were laid at the base of the statue in Naqoura to commemorate those who had lost their lives on the UNIFIL mission.

Estonian peacekeepers, who served in Lebanon also in 1996-1997, joined UNIFIL again at the end of May 2015. ESTPLA-24, the seventh rotation of Estonian troops in Lebanon, started service in Lebanon in November are will return to Estonia in May. ESTPLA-24 mainly consists of troops from the Scouts Battalion's staff and logistics companies and is part of UNIFIL's Irish-Finnish battalion.

UNIFIL is made up of over 10,000 troops from 41 countries and approximately 1,000 both local civilian employees as well as those from supporting countries. The head of the UNIFIL mission is Maj. Gen. Michael Beary from the Irish Army.

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