Steinmeier says he supports 'strong Lebanon'

9th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 August 2006, JERUSALEM - As part of the international diplomatic efforts to end the violence in Lebanon, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke out in Israel Wednesday in support of the principles of the recently-proposed draft UN resolution on Lebanon. In Jerusalem for talks with Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz, Steinmeier said that a "strong, sovereign and democratic Lebanon" was necessary for a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Middle East. The minister said that as a possib

9 August 2006

JERUSALEM - As part of the international diplomatic efforts to end the violence in Lebanon, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke out in Israel Wednesday in support of the principles of the recently-proposed draft UN resolution on Lebanon.

In Jerusalem for talks with Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz, Steinmeier said that a "strong, sovereign and democratic Lebanon" was necessary for a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

The minister said that as a possible contribution to the strengthening of Lebanon, he valued the decision of the Lebanese government to send 15,000 soldiers to the south of the country.

In Beirut on Tuesday, Steinmeier welcomed the proposal as a "courageous step."

In Jerusalem, Steinmeier met his counterpart Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. A meeting planned for Thursday with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was postponed by the Palestianian side due to scheduling difficulties.

During the talks in Israel, Olmert's expressed desire for German participation in an international peacekeeping force in Lebanon is expected to be discussed.

According to Wednesday's edition of The Jerusalem Post, there is opposition to the idea in the foreign ministry.

The presence of German soldiers along the Israeli border would be loaded with too much symbolism, said the paper, quoting "official sources."

It was feared that a scenario could arise where a German soldier could shoot an Israeli or the reverse.

This would reopen too many wounds, the newspaper said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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