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Sebastien Lecornu, France’s Defense Minister, is set to hold talks with Lebanese officials, including interim Prime Minister Najib Mikati, amid escalating border tensions with Israel.
Lecornu’s trip comes in the backdrop of the ongoing Gaza conflict and its ramifications on Lebanon-Israel relations. Notably, he will also be inspecting the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) headquarters, which recently suffered damages due to a shell explosion in the vicinity of Naqoura.
France plays a pivotal role in the peacekeeping mission, deploying nearly 700 troops as part of the UNIFIL force.
The region has witnessed heightened conflict, with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Israeli army engaging in regular cross-border fire since early October. The historical ties between Lebanon and France, once its colonial power, have been marked by political and economic connections.