Three German units serving with the Maritime Task Force of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) took part in yesterday’s drill with three naval units from the Lebanese Navy.According to UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Claudio Graziano, “the Lebanese Navy’s participation in this exercise is of paramount importance in light of the future hand-over of the full responsibility of their territorial water.”UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force was deployed off the Lebanese coast in 2006 to curtail arms smuggling following that year’s Israel-Hizbollah war, and has since hailed over 24,000 ships and referred nearly 300 suspicious vessels to Lebanese authorities for further inspection. Currently, the Force comprises naval units from Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy and Turkey. 14 July 2009United Nations peacekeepers have carried out maritime exercises off the coast of Lebanon in a bid to boost cooperation and coordination with the country’s navy.