Eberhard Zorn (l), Inspector General of the German Armed Forces, advises against the background of tensions in the Middle East to increase support for the Lebanese armed forces. Photo: Carsten Hoffmann / dpa
A delivery of new patrol boats could help the military, which acts as a stability factor, to better control the coastal waters, said the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Eberhard Zorn, during a visit to Beirut. In addition, the mandate for the participation of German soldiers in the UN mission Unifil, which has been ongoing for 15 years, must be adapted to the new situation.
Although several nations have made boats available to the Lebanese coast guard, they are different and all older models. Of the boats delivered from Germany, only two out of three are usually ready for use.
“The boats are now showing that they are not suitable for the sea for the entire year. In the winter when the sea is rough, it is difficult for them to get out of the ports and they cannot stay at sea for long, ”said Zorn, who came on Wednesday for a two-day visit. “This is a topic that we have to deal with. The Lebanese need newer ocean-going boats with robust technology to maintain them themselves. This would make it easier for the Lebanese to monitor their own maritime area independently. “