German FM Steinmeier arrives in Beirut for talks

7th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 September 2006, BEIRUT - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived Thursday in Beirut for "urgent talks" with Lebanese premier Fouad Seniora, according to a Lebanese government source. Steinmeier arrived on a German private jet after talks in Istanbul with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, accompanied by a four- member delegation, according to the Lebanese source. According to an eyewitness at Beirut airport, Steinmeier was accompanied by three men wearing military uniforms and a fourt

7 September 2006

BEIRUT - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived Thursday in Beirut for "urgent talks" with Lebanese premier Fouad Seniora, according to a Lebanese government source.

Steinmeier arrived on a German private jet after talks in Istanbul with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, accompanied by a four- member delegation, according to the Lebanese source.

According to an eyewitness at Beirut airport, Steinmeier was accompanied by three men wearing military uniforms and a fourth in civilian clothing.

A Lebanese government source confirmed to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the three men are German experts who will hold talks with Lebanese security officials on ways to help "enhance security technology at Beirut airport and give the necessary technical assistance to the Lebanese security officials."

The German FM was greeted by the German ambassador to Lebanon, Marius Haas.

The minister's plane landed two hours before Israel was scheduled to lift its 56-day blockade of Lebanon.

Israel announced on Wednesday that it was lifting its blockade following assurances that international forces, including some from Germany, would control positions around Lebanon's sea- and airports.

Some German security experts arrived in Beirut late Wednesday to prepare the groundwork for an eventual German naval deployment off the Lebanese coast, Lebanese sources said.

The German parliament is expected to vote on such a deployment only after it receives a formal request from the United Nations.

Lebanese Transportation Minister Mohammed Safadi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that "no German troops will be positioned inside Beirut international airport or seaports.

"Their mission will be to monitor waters seven miles away from the coast. The Lebanese security forces will control the airport and the ports and the Lebanese naval forces will monitor the sea from the coast of Beirut up to the seven miles where the Germans will be positioned," Safadi said.

"The Germans will intervene to look at boats only when asked by the Lebanese Army," a Lebanese Army source told dpa.

DPA

Subject: German news

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