The Greeks of Lebanon and their unknown contribution to the Navy

Greek Navy lemnos

Greece participates with a frigate in the UN's UNIFIL operation in Lebanon, which aims to block the sea routes for the equipment of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah. There is also a large and active Greek community that is in close cooperation with the Navy.

In addition to Operation ASPIDES in the Red Sea and IRINI in Libya, Greece also participates with a frigate in Operation UNIFIL.

According to UN resolution 1701, which provided for the prohibition of Hezbollah rearming in Lebanon, an international Naval Force was created, which carries out patrols and control in the sea and air space outside the territorial waters of Lebanon (12 nm.).

UNIFIL's mission is to carry out Maritime Control Operations to interdict the trafficking of illegal arms and related materials to Lebanon in cooperation with and assist the Lebanese authorities.

From September 18, 2006, until October 15, 2006, a temporary Naval Force under the control of the Italian Navy (Initial Maritime Task Force 425) was established. The Hellenic PN participated from the beginning of the formation of this force with a Frigate (F/C).

Today, the frigate F/C LEMNOS (F451) is operating.

Approximately 4,500 to 5,000 Greeks in Lebanon make up a particularly strong and active community.

In fact, as the Greek ambassador to Lebanon Franciscos Verros pointed out to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, these people are "the surface of a Hellenism of about 30,000 people, who come mainly from Asia Minor families, who fled to Lebanon under the known tragic circumstances in 1922, mainly from the area of ​​Smyrna and secondly from the area of ​​Antioch, Alexandretta, when it was occupied by the Turks, at the end of the 30s".

Although the Greek Community of Lebanon numbers only a few thousand members today, it is a "living" community and, in fact, according to the Greek ambassador in Beirut, "for the fate of Greece, Hellenism and the embassy, ​​it is a community, which does not ask for help but offers help."

"Hellenism is doing very well; we have very good relations with the Lebanese and the Lebanese authorities," said Panos Andriotis, the president of the Hellenic Community of Beirut.

The Greeks of Lebanon try to keep alive the Greek language, manners and customs as well as the traditions of the motherland.

The president of the Greek Community of Lebanon significantly assists the Greek warships if they are required to stay in the port of Beirut in the context of the UNIFIL operation.

During a General Staff meeting, the offer of Panos Andriotis to the Navy was honoured on Monday by the Chief of the General Staff, Dimitrios-Eleftherios Kataras.

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One hundred forty children study at the Greek Language School maintained by the Greek Community of Beirut, employing two Greek teachers, many of whom are Lebanese, parents of families who have bought houses in Greece and want to strengthen ties.

READ MORE: Tripartite Defense Cooperation: Armenia, Greece, and Cyprus; Possible Quadrilateral Cooperation: France and India.

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