(By Dr Shahid Qureshi):-
Kazakhstan will send 120 soldiers to join the Indian peacekeeping forces as part of the UN mission in Lebanon, Kazakh Defence Minister Saken Zhasuzakov announced during a recent Parliament session, following a proposal by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The mission’s purpose, following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Southern Lebanon, is to assist the Lebanese government in managing the southern regions of the country, as well as to facilitate humanitarian access to civilians and the return of displaced persons. It will be part of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, established by the UN Security Council in 1978, one of the longest peacekeeping operations in the organisation’s history.
According to Mr. Zhasuzakov, since 2014, eleven Kazakh officers have participated in UN missions, including in in Western Sahara and the Ivory Coast. The defence and foreign affairs ministries have developed a list of preferred peacekeeping missions as part of Kazakhstan’s commitment to international peace and security, considering military and political cooperation, as well as Kazakhstan’s international relations.