Spain PM highlights defense spending boost in Lebanon visit

Marjayoun, Lebanon, Dec 28 (EFE).- Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez said his country’s defense spending boost to 2% of GDP was necessary to guarantee security and contribute to missions such as the United Nations’ peacekeeping deployment in Lebanon during a visit to the Middle East nation Wednesday.

Sánchez met with Spanish members of the UN peacekeeping mission in Beirut and Marjayoun along with the defense minister Margarita Robles.

Spain currently holds command of the UN mission in Lebanon (FINUL), which involves some 10,000 soldiers (of which 653 are Spanish) deployed to monitor hostilities between the militant Shia group Hezbollah and Israel as well as assist the Lebanese army in the south of the country.

The PM thanked the Spanish soldiers for working toward peace and international stability, saying its importance and fragility were exemplified by Russia’s “brutal, illegal and unjustified” invasion of Ukraine.

In June, Spain pledged to earmark 2% of its annual GDP to defense, in line with Nato requirements at the time when Madrid was hosting the Alliance’s summit.

During his stay in Lebanon, Sánchez is due to meet with prime minister Najib Mikati and parliament speaker Nabih Berri.EFE


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