Luciano Portolano to Head UNIFIL

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U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday appointed Italian general Luciano Portolano to head the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Portolano will succeed his countryman and fellow general Paolo Serra, who is leaving the post on July 24 after two-and-a-half years.

Portolano, a 54-year-old major general, currently serves as deputy chief of staff for joint operations in Italy's armed forces, according to a statement from Ban's office. 

He previously commanded the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Regional Command West in Afghanistan.

Italy is one of the main troop contributors to UNIFIL, a multinational force established in 1978 to monitor the border between Lebanon and Israel. It consists of 10,200 soldiers.

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