Too soon for Lebanon troop contributors to meet: France

2nd August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 2, 2006 (AFP) - A meeting of potential troop contributors for a multinational force in Lebanon, rescheduled for Thursday at the UN, is still premature because the conditions for deployment have not been met, the French foreign ministry said Wednesday.

PARIS, Aug 2, 2006 (AFP) - A meeting of potential troop contributors for a multinational force in Lebanon, rescheduled for Thursday at the UN, is still premature because the conditions for deployment have not been met, the French foreign ministry said Wednesday.

"France believes that the conditions for the force's deployment have not been met and so this meeting is premature," said spokesman Denis Simonneau.

"The meeting should take place when the conditions have been fulfilled," he said.

The meeting -- which some 40 countries are expected to attend -- was originally planned for Monday but was pushed back to Thursday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a French diplomat in New York told AFP that France will not attend the meeting.

France is pushing for an immediate ceasefire by Israel and Hezbollah and a negotiated settlement on the ground before any multinational force is sent in. By contrast the United States wants a rapid reaction force to move in early.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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