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Turkey extends troops deployment in Lebanon

October 22, 2019 at 9:10 pm

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil (R) shake hands after giving a joint press conference in Beirut, Lebanon on 23 August, 2019 [Cem Özdel/Anadolu Agency]

The parliament on Tuesday ratified a motion to extend the deployment of Turkish troops in Lebanon for another year as part of the UN’s interim force, reports Anadolu Agency.

The reform package was passed with a show of hands by lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Good (IYI) Party.

The term of Turkish soldiers in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, also known as UNIFIL, has been extended until October 31, 2020.

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The motion floated by the Presidency has been extended 12 times so far since it was first approved by the parliament in September 2006.

The UNIFIL was established in 1978 when Israel withdrew from Lebanon. The peacekeeping force is intended to provide security and help the Lebanese government in rebuilding its authority.

Around 10,600 troops from 40 countries are part of the UNIFIL mission.