Visiting UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Saturday met with the commander of the peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon and paid tribute to fallen soldiers.
Ban, who is on a three-day visit to Lebanon, traveled by helicopter to the town of Naqura, headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and laid a wreath at a memorial site for soldiers killed in service.
He met with Major General Alberto Asarta Cuevas, the head of UNIFIL, who briefed him on the force's operations in the south.
UNIFIL was deployed in 1978 to maintain stability at the border between Lebanon and Israel.
It was expanded in 2006 following a devastating war between the militant group Hezbollah and the Jewish state. It now numbers some 12,000 troops.
UNIFIL soldiers have been the target of three attacks in the past year that have prompted fears they could be linked to the deadly unrest in neighbouring Syria.
Ban on Saturday was also meeting in Beirut with members of the Western-backed opposition and other officials.
He was to hold talks in the evening with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is traveling to Beirut to attend a UN conference on the transition to democracy in the Arab world.
Ban on Sunday is to give the keynote address at the two-day conference's opening ceremony.
Source: AFP Global Edition