Germany delays decision on UN Lebanon force

4th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 September 2006, BERLIN - Germany said Sunday it was delaying a decision on sending troops to Lebanon, pending a formal request to the United Nations by the government in Beirut. A special meeting of the cabinet planned for Monday to decide on the deployment of a naval task force has been cancelled, government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said in Berlin. Germany has made its involvement in a Lebanese peace force conditional on a formal Lebanese request to the UN. Such a plea had been expected by Sunday, but L

4 September 2006

BERLIN - Germany said Sunday it was delaying a decision on sending troops to Lebanon, pending a formal request to the United Nations by the government in Beirut.

A special meeting of the cabinet planned for Monday to decide on the deployment of a naval task force has been cancelled, government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said in Berlin.

Germany has made its involvement in a Lebanese peace force conditional on a formal Lebanese request to the UN.

Such a plea had been expected by Sunday, but Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora told Chancellor Angela Merkel that his government was still debating the issue, Wilhelm said.

Merkel had originally planned to inform political party leaders of the deployment plans Sunday evening before the cabinet endorsed them on Monday ahead of a vote in parliament on Friday.

Germany has indicated it is willing to send a mainly sea-based force of between 1,200 to 2,000 as part of a 15,000-strong UN mission to oversee the ceasefire between Israel and the Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

The German task force would patrol Lebanese coastal waters with the aim of providing security and stopping arms smuggling.

The first contingent of Italian troops landed in southern Lebanon on Saturday in a major step towards bolstering the UN force monitoring the truce.

European countries have offered to contribute around 7,000 troops to the force.

DPA

Subject: German news

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