Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) Gen. Riho Terras are traveling to Lebanon on Monday, where the Estonian head of state will meet with his Lebanese colleagues and learn about the work being done by UN organizations.
Ratas will visit the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and meet with EDF members serving on the UNIFIL and United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) missions, according to a government press release.
The Estonian contingent, which is part of the multinational Irish-Finnish battalion (FINIRISHBATT), consists of the infantry unit ESTPLA-24 and a staff officer at UNIFIL headquarters. Approximately 40 members of the EDF are serving in UNIFIL. ESTPLA-24 deployed to Lebanon last November, and is schdeuled to return to Estonia in May. Estonia has been contributing rotating contingents to the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon since May 2015.
At his meeting with Lebanese heads of state, Ratas is to discuss the security situation, the fight against terrorist groups, and the standard of living of refugees. The current population of Lebanon is 6.2 million, about 1.1-1.5 million of whom are Syrian refugees.
Ratas and Terras are scheduled to return to Estonia late Wednesday evening.
Editor: Aili Vahtla