Germany’s Baerbock meets Lebanese Prime Minister Mikati

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has met Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati to discuss the current tensions between Israel and the Shiite militia Hezbollah.

The talks in the capital Beirut are likely to focus on the question of how a wider conflagration in the region can be prevented in view of the intensifying clashes between Israel and the Iranian-backed militia.

Baerbock also planned to visit the UN observer mission UNIFIL on Wednesday to find out about the situation on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

Since the beginning of the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, clashes between Israel and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which is an ally of Hamas, have increased significantly.

Hezbollah is increasingly firing projectiles into Israel from Lebanon, and Israel has attacked Hezbollah positions in Lebanon in retaliation.

The Gaza war was triggered by the attack by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups on border towns in Israel on October 7.

UNIFIL, or the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, has been monitoring the border area between Israel and Lebanon since 1978. The blue helmet mission is one of the oldest active UN observer missions. Just over 10,000 soldiers are currently involved in the mission.

The German Armed Forces, or Bundeswehr, are involved with around 200 soldiers. The mandate authorizes the deployment of up to 300 German soldiers.

Baerbock also plans to visit the German frigate Baden-Württemberg in the harbour of Beirut to find out about the work of the Bundeswehr soldiers. The ship has been on a UNIFIL mission with around 120 soldiers since October 20.

The mission is intended to support the Lebanese government in securing the sea borders and preventing the smuggling of weapons by sea.

Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati (R) meets with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Michael Kappeler/dpa

Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati (R) meets with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Michael Kappeler/dpa

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