Visiting Beirut, German FM pledges aid to boost Lebanese armed forces

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is welcomed by a Lebanese official as she arrives for a meeting with Lebanon's prime minister on January 10, 2024 in Beirut. (Joseph Eid/AFP)
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is welcomed by a Lebanese official as she arrives for a meeting with Lebanon's prime minister on January 10, 2024 in Beirut. (Joseph Eid/AFP)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pledges 15 million euros ($16 million) to bolster the Lebanese armed forces amid growing concern about tensions on the border with Israel as the Gaza war rages.

Baerbock, on a visit to Beirut, says the military aid is aimed at helping the Lebanese army better secure its southern border with Israel.

The army must be able to exercise “effective control” over the area in order to “contain armed militias and terrorist organizations,” she said, a reference to the Hezbollah terror group and other terror factions operating in the area.

Baerbock, who held talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, says an escalation of the near-daily cross-border fire between Hezbollah and Israel “would be a catastrophe for the two countries.”

She calls on Hezbollah to withdraw from the border region with Israel, as required under United Nations Resolution 1701.

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