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Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D. expresses concern at events in the UNIFIL area of operations in Southern Lebanon.

The Minister for Defence Mr Simon Coveney T.D. has expressed his concern at recent events in the UNIFIL area of operations in Southern Lebanon and is closely monitoring ongoing developments. The Minister was speaking following the death of a Spanish soldier killed earlier today. He was a member of the Spanish United Nations peacekeeping contingent deployed with UNIFIL. The incident happened in the Shebaa farms area of Southern Lebanon which is not part of the Area of Operations of the Irish contingent to UNIFIL and all Defence Forces personnel participating in the UNIFIL and UNDOF Areas of Operation are safe and accounted for.

The Minister has been assured that all necessary Force Protection Measures are being implemented by the Defence Forces contingent in UNIFIL in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures. The Minister stated that “I am fully aware that peacekeeping operations are not without risk, however the safety of our troops is my priority. I am extremely concerned at the recent turn of events and would urge restraint on all sides. I would like to extend my personal condolences to my colleague the Spanish Minister for Defence, the Spanish Armed Forces, and family of the peacekeeper killed in Southern Lebanon on this unfortunate and unacceptable development. I will continue to monitor developments in the region”.

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