YEREVAN — The Armenian peacekeeping subdivision will leave for Lebanon today to participate in the UN’s UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) mission. Armenian peacekeepers will be deployed under the command of the Italian party.

Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and Italy’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia Giovanni Ricciulli are expected to attend the ceremony.

The technical agreement regulating the procedure of inclusion of the Armenian peacekeeping platoon in the UNIFIL contingent was signed between Armenian and Italian Defense Ministers in June, 2014.

“The Italian party suggested Armenian peacekeepers that it assumes the responsibility of ensuring the security of the military headquarters. As the time passes, countries with small military contingents but with active involvement in international operations become more tempered and specialized in various fields. Usually the headquarters prefer to utilize such national niche capabilities to fulfill relevant tasks. In this respect, we can claim that Armenian peacekeepers have been “specialized” in tasks related to force protection and security”. Stated First Deputy Defense Minister of Armenia Davit Tonoyan in an interview.

Answering the question whether sending Armenian peacekeepers to Lebanon may pose additional threat to the local Armenian communities or not, Davit Tonoyan said:

“The issue has been discussed from all possible angles before the launch of negotiations with the UN and the Italian party, and we have come to the conclusion that Armenian peacekeepers serving to the peace in unbiased and professional manner will only create a positive environment”.

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