New UNIFIL commander, troops arrive in Lebanon

January 29, 2007 16:22


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The new commander of the UN force in Lebanon, Major-General Claudio Graziano of Italy, arrived on Monday to take control of the operation charged with keeping the peace between Hizbullah guerrillas and Israel. Graziano, who was selected by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month, succeeds Major-General Alain Pellegrini of France. Pellegrini led the UN force, known as UNIFIL, during last summer's war. A hand-over ceremony between Pellegrini and Graziano is scheduled to take place in south Lebanon on Friday. Also Monday, the second and final batch of Qatari peacekeepers arrived in Lebanon to join the UN force. The tiny Gulf state is the first Arab country to serve in the UN operation.

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