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Major General Paolo Serra of Italy, the newly appointed Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), arrived in Beirut on Wednesday, National News Agency reported.

Serra was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the successor of Major General Alberto Asarta Cuevas of Spain, who has headed UNIFIL for two years and will relinquish his post on Jan. 28.

Serra was born in 1956 in Italy and attended University of Turin’s Military Academy and received a master’s degree from the United States Army War College.

Prior to his UNIFIL appointment, Serra commanded troops in multinational peace operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Mozambique.

UNIFIL, established in 1978, functions as a peacekeeping and humanitarian aid operation in south Lebanon.

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