De Gucht in Mid-East for Lebanon mission

23rd August 2006, Comments 0 comments

23 August 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht departed for the Mid-East on Wednesday to discuss the deployment of a peacekeeping force that Belgium is considering contributing troops towards.

23 August 2006

BRUSSELS — Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht departed for the Mid-East on Wednesday to discuss the deployment of a peacekeeping force that Belgium is considering contributing troops towards.

De Gucht will first make a stopover in Paris where he will meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, newspaper 'De Morgen' reported.

In the afternoon, he will arrive in Tel Aviv, where he will meet with Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz.

Talks are planned in Beirut on Thursday at which leading Lebanese politicians such as Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and representatives of the Shiite parties will be present.

Belgium is considering sending several dozen soldiers to the United Nations peacekeeping force Finul, which will take up positions held by the Israeli army in the south of Lebanon.

The deployment of the peacekeeping force — as agreed by the resolution 1701 adopted by the UN Security Council — is delayed due to concerns from western nations about sending troops to a risk area without a clear mandate.

Belgium has already demanded the peacekeeping force be given a stronger mandate and a decision about the deployment of Belgian troops will be made by the federal Cabinet on Friday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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