BEIRUT, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's Armed Forces Commander Joseph Aoun on Tuesday reaffirmed the army's continuous cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to preserve peace in southern Lebanon.
"UNIFIL is a strategic partner of the Lebanese army in implementing UN Resolution 1701," Aoun was quoted as saying by the National News Agency.
Aoun's remarks came during his visit to the Irish-Polish Battalion of the UNIFIL in Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon to honor the four Irish soldiers whose vehicle was shot at in Al-Aqbieh on Dec. 14, leading to the death of one of the soldiers, Sean Rooney.
"The Irish-Polish battalion has a long history of service within UNIFIL since 1978, and during this period, it offered martyrs among its members. I salute the battalion's members, the heroic peacekeepers, who are far from their homelands and their families to maintain peace in Lebanon and support the population in the south," said Aoun.
For his part, Aroldo Lazaro Saenz, chief of UNIFIL, thanked the Lebanese army for its solidarity with UNIFIL, appreciating the efforts made by the army to investigate the incident.
On Dec. 14, a peacekeeper was killed and three others injured in an incident in Al-Aqbieh outside UNIFIL's area of operations in southern Lebanon.
L'orient Le Jour, a local newspaper, reported on Sunday that Lebanon's Hezbollah group has handed over a man suspected of killing the Irish peacekeeper, adding that "preliminary investigations are nearly complete." ■