King of Spain Felipe VI visits UNIFIL
His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain today paid a visit to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Accompanying the King were the Spanish Minister of Defence Pedro Morenés Eulate, the Spanish Chief of Staff of the Defence Admiral General Fernando García Sánchez and Spanish Chief Of Staff of the Army General Jaime Dominguez Buj.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano welcomed the King in UNIFIL's Sector East headquarters in Marjayoun. Also present to receive the King were UNIFIL's Sector East Commander Brigadier-General Antonio Ruiz Olmoz, the Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Samir Moqbel and Lebanese officials.
Major-General Portolano briefed the King about the situation in UNIFIL's area of operations and issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL's mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL Head of Mission Major-General Portolano said: "His Majesty's visit is a testament to the strong support of the Spanish Government for our mission and commitment to peace and stability in the region."
During the visit, King Felipe VI inspected an Honour Guard at the Miguel de Cervantes UNIFIL base in Marjayoun and laid a wreath in tribute to UNIFIL peacekeepers who had lost their lives in the service of peace since 1978.
Spain currently has about 558 troops in UNIFIL. UNIFIL comprises over 10,000 military personnel from 38 countries, including the Maritime Task Force, the only naval force in peacekeeping operations - and 1,000 civilian national and international staff.