Fiji was congratulated on its contribution over the years to helping create a positive and stable environment in Lebanon at a meeting between Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and the Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Major General Stefano Del Col.
Prime Minister Bainimarama took the opportunity to congratulate Major General Del Col on his appointment as Force Commander and thank him for his leadership of the UNIFIL Mission.
“Fiji has celebrated 40 years of peacekeeping this year, as we’ve paid tribute to the proud Fijian legacy of service to the global cause of peace, understanding and prosperity for all people. That legacy is strengthened every day by the courage, discipline and sacrifice of our Fijian peacekeepers serving around the world, including here in Lebanon, and we are grateful for the leadership of Force Commander Del Col in this mission,” said the Prime Minister.
As a recognition of the progress made due to peacekeeping efforts in Lebanon, the UNIFIL mission has been progressively reduced in recent years, which has included the gradual withdrawal of Fijian troops.
Major General Del Col assured that although the Fijian Battalion would return on December 22, Fiji’s flag will continue to fly in UNIFIL in Lebanon, as ten staff and civilian officers will continue to be engaged in UNIFIL.
The Prime Minister met with Force Commander Del Col in Lebanon as part of his official visit to the Fijian Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon. As part of the visit, the Prime Minister visited with Fijians serving in peacekeeping operations, paid tribute to fallen Fijian soldiers and met with the Fijian community in Lebanon.