Press Releases 2016

13.01.2016 09:00

Minister of Defence Niinistö to visit Lebanon

Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö and Estonian Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso will visit Lebanon 13-15 January 2016. They are going to familiarise themselves with the UNIFIL operation.

Since last May, an Estonian infantry platoon has been part of the Finnish jaeger company under the Finnish-Irish battalion. Estonian staff works also at the battalion headquarters and the operation headquarters. Finland assumed the lead nation role of the Finnish-Irish battalion in November 2013 and will continue to do so until November 2016. The Finnish-Irish battalion consists in total of about 500 peacekeepers; Finnish contribution is about 300 peacekeepers while Estonian contribution is about 40 peacekeepers.

During the visit, minister Niinistö will familiarise himself with the work of the Finnish crisis management force in Lebanon (SKJL) and he will meet Finnish peacekeepers contributing to the operation. Both ministers will also call on the UNIFIL operation headquarters.

The UN-led UNIFIL operation is the largest crisis management operation to which Finland contributes. The Finnish-Irish battalion is tasked to control its area of responsibility close to the Blue Line, support Lebanese armed forces and other local authorities, and assist Lebanese population.

For more information on the visit?s programme and schedules, please contact ADC Sami Jaakkola, tel. +358 295 140102 and for information on communication related matters, Senior Advisor Kristian Vakkuri, tel. +358 295140123.

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