Most Germans reject joining Lebanon force: poll

18th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 August 2006, BERLIN - A majority of Germans oppose the nation's troops joining the United Nations-led Lebanon peacekeeping force, a poll released Friday showed. Drawn up by the marketing group Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for the public TV channel ZDF, the poll showed that 58 per cent of Germans were against members of the nation's army (Bundeswehr) being deployed on the border between Lebanon and Israel. The poll showed that 25 per cent agreed to Germany joining the UN mission as long as it was guaranteed t

18 August 2006

BERLIN - A majority of Germans oppose the nation's troops joining the United Nations-led Lebanon peacekeeping force, a poll released Friday showed.

Drawn up by the marketing group Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for the public TV channel ZDF, the poll showed that 58 per cent of Germans were against members of the nation's army (Bundeswehr) being deployed on the border between Lebanon and Israel.

The poll showed that 25 per cent agreed to Germany joining the UN mission as long as it was guaranteed that German soldiers would not participate in any military action involving Israelis.

In the light of the nation's past, German military involvement in other nations or regions is always a particularly sensitive issue in the country.

But coming 60 years after the Holocaust, the issue is even more sensitive as it concerns Israel.

The ZDF poll, in which 1259 people were interviewed, was held before the Berlin government set out its contributions to the UN force, which is being forged followed more than 30 days of fighting in the region between Israel and the Hezbollah guerrilla group.

Following a round of talks with senior government members, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Germany will offer a naval supply ship but no ground troops to the UN peacekeeping mission.

She said that Germany was "fundamentally willing" to contribute, mainly to secure the borders from the maritime side. Germany would offer a naval hospital vessel.

DPA

Subject: German news

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