BEIRUT, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Chief of Staff of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Brig. Gen. Pierre Liot De Nortbecourt chaired on Monday the 15th CHINBATT Transfer of Authority (rotation) ceremony.
De Nortbecourt supervised the 15th Chinese Peacekeeping Operation Force Transfer of Authority to the 16th one along with the Captain of the 16th Chinese Multifunctional Engineering Contingent in the south Lebanese village of Hinnieh by the port city of Tyre.
The ceremony was attended by China's Ambassador to Lebanon Wang Kejian, Brig. Gen. Khalil Al-Gemayel representing Lebanon's Minister of Defense, the governor of Tyre and other various military and political figures.
De Nortbecourt expressed his gratitude for the work accomplished by the parting 15th Chinese contingent.
He specifically highlighted his appreciation for "the construction of a 300-meter shooting range in Naqoura which was built in a very difficult environment and which enables UNIFIL to benefit from what is an essential operational training asset."
He further underlined the "important commitment of the battalion to the local population and the numerous projects that have been carried out mainly at the medical level. Such activities contribute to strengthening the sustainable confidence of the population in the actions of UNIFIL."
The UNIFIL Chief of Staff also highlighted the Chinese battalion's work in the area of mine clearance.
For his part, Col. Pu Yi, commander of the 15th Chinese batch stressed in his farewell speech the commitment of the "410 officers and other ranks of the Chinese contingent to the duties and missions of UNIFIL since they were deployed in May of last year."
As for the commander of the 16th Chinese batch Col. Huang Yun, he stressed that "Chinese peacekeepers will absolutely comply with the UN Charter, follow orders sent by the UNIFIL Headquarters, strengthen close cooperation with all other peacekeeping forces, as well as respect the government of Lebanon and its local residents."