UN peacekeepers in Southern Lebanon are a stabilizing force that helps prevent a potential new conflict, Fouad Fadel, the Estonian honorary consul in Beirut, said during a meeting with Estonian personnel serving on the mission there.
"Peacekeepers in Lebanon are there not only to monitor the situation; they also serve as a buffer." Fadel said according to Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) spokespeople in Tallinn. "Their presence is a key to stability, which doesn't let the situation escalate."
According to Fadel, the peacekeepers' presence also allows the international community to keep an eye on the state of affairs in the region.
During his visit to the UNIFIL contingent, Fadel met at Checkpoint 2-45 with Lt. Col. Neil Nolan, commander of the Irish-Finnish battalion in which the Estonian platoon ESTPLA-24 is currently serving, and other commanders as well as with the Estonian personnel, who were able to ask him questions about life in Lebanon.
"My recommendation for you in communicating with the local people is to be simple — sit down and talk with them, talk about your country, what you eat, how you spend your time," Fadel said. "Your Estonian qualities may be the key to succeeding in local communities."
The residents of the Estonian contingent's area of responsibility in Southern Lebanon are mostly villagers whose communities cherish strong family ties and who attach a great deal of importance to family values. In addition, according to Fadel, Lebanon and Estonia are bound by their histories extending over several thousand years as well as their rich traditions.
Fouad Fadel has served as the Estonian honorary consul in Lebanon since 2016.
The Estonian platoon serving the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeeping mission as part of a multinational Irish-Finnish battalion consists of approximately 40 military personnel.
Editor: Aili Vahtla