Italian Officer Assumes Command of UNIFIL

An Italian army officer has assumed the command of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon.

Maj.-Gen. Stefano Dal Col takes over from outgoing Irish army Maj.-Gen. Michael Beary as the new head of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.

The force has more than 10,000 troops deployed in southern Lebanon.

The transfer of authority took place on Tuesday at a ceremony at the UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura, in south Lebanon.

Beary in his farewell speech urged both Lebanese and Israelis to be "courageous" and head toward a diplomatic dialogue for peace.

Lebanon and Israel are technically at war and the Israelis fought a destructive monthlong war against Hizbullah in 2006. Disagreements remain over the border line.

Source: Associated Press

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