Spain Voices Commitment to Withdrawing All of its UNIFIL Troops in 2013

Posted on: May 09, 2012 at 01:00
Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes stressed on Tuesday his country’s commitment to reduce by 20 percent the number of Spanish troops in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, reported the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA.

He told Spanish state television that the rest of the Spanish troops will completely withdraw from the international force in 2013.

The withdrawal will take place in coordination with the other European countries that are part of UNIFIL, added KUNA.

Morenes stated however that some Spanish troops could remain in Lebanon after the withdrawal in order to support the Lebanese army.

There have been numerous reports that France is seeking to reduce the number of its UNIFIL troops

Force Commander Major General Paolo Serra had stated in February that he had not yet received any official confirmation of the withdrawal.

In July 2011, the Italian Senate agreed to withdraw 700 soldiers from UNIFIL.

The decision was part of an agreement to lower the number of Italian troops from international peacemaking missions from 9,250 to 2,028 in 2012.

UNIFIL had come under various attacks over the past few months, the latest of which took place on December 9, 2011, when a French patrol was the victim of a roadside bomb in the southern city of Sidon.

Seven people, including five French soldiers, were wounded in the attack.
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