Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is visiting Irish troops who are on United Nations duty in Lebanon.

Mr Varadkar laid a wreath at a memorial for Irish soldiers who died on active duty.

There are 343 Irish soldiers on duty in Lebanon over the Christmas period.

The Taoiseach arrived at one of the troops' forward positions on the blue line buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon.

Mr Varadkar spent last night within an Irish army compound, before travelling south to the border to meet troops and see the equipment and weaponry used in the mission.

The troops are on a UN mandated UNIFIL mission, where they have operated since 1979 and where 47 Irish soldiers have died.

After spending time and eating lunch with the soldiers, the Taoiseach laid a wreath at a monument in honour of the dead.

He thanked those who continue to serve and who will miss their families on Christmas Day.

Mr Varadkar said Ireland's defence forces had made a major contribution to peace and security around the world and it was important they continue to do so.

Speaking in relation to the political situation in the Middle East, he reiterated the Government's stated position on Jerusalem saying he believed US recognition of it as Israel's capital was a 'misstep' by US President Donald Trump.

The Taoiseach is accompanied on the trip by the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, and Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellet.

He also met key officers involved in the UNIFIL mission and was given details of the Irish role in the operation.