King Juan Carlos Pays an Official Visit to Lebanon

  February 11, 2010 at 5:44 am by

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Following an official visit by the President of Lebanon to Spain in October 2009, this week King Juan Carlos arrived at Rafik Hariri’s Beirut International Airport to start a two-day visit to Lebanon. The King, accompanied by the Spanish Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence, was welcomed by H.E. the President of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman.

King Juan Carlos and President Suleiman went to the Baabda Presidential Palace in order to attend a private meeting between both leaders. At the end of the day, the Lebanese President hosted an official dinner in honour of His Majesty. During the dinner’s courtesy toast, the King talked about the Spain’s commitment on peace and stability in Lebanon. Suleiman called for the promotion of Lebanese-Spanish bilateral ties as he highlighted cooperation between both countries when it comes to fighting terrorism.

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On Tuesday the king visited the base “Miguel de Cervantes” in Blat where about a thousand Spanish soldiers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) are stationed. The visit of the King comes after the Spanish General Alberto Asarta was appointed General Officer Commanding the UNIFIL mission; he is in charge of 12,500 soldiers from 29 countries. His Majesty said General Asarta’s appointment is a “recognition within the international community of the prestige acquired by the Spanish troops in Lebanon and in other areas of operations.”

The king addressed soldiers in whom he expressed his “support, recognition and respect to the task that every one of the soldiers is developing in Lebanon. A very complex and difficult mission that demands great sacrifice that deserve all my gratitude.” Before he finished, he paid tribute to all the Spanish soldiers that were killed in mission abroad.

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