Dutch send ship to UN mission in Lebanon
22 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands will send a ship to Lebanon as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force, the Cabinet decided on Friday.
22 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands will send a ship to Lebanon as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force, the Cabinet decided on Friday.
The naval contribution to the UNIFIL mission will involve the alternating deployment of a frigate and a supply ship. A maximum of 150 military personnel will be involved.
The aim is for the Dutch contribution to join the UN squadron that primarily combats illegal weapon smuggling into Lebanon sometime between 1 October and 1 December.
The mission will continue until 31 August 2007, but Defence Minister Henk Kamp
said the length of the mission could be extended by an extra 12 months.
Kamp is satisfied with the rules of engagement. He said suspicious ships can be boarded without permission from the captain and clear agreements have been made with Lebanon over operations in its territorial waters.
Italy is currently in command of the naval mission, but that command will soon be transferred to Germany.
Besides the Netherlands, Greece and Bulgaria have also contributed to the mission.
The UN, Lebanon and Israel have each requested that the Netherlands offer a deployment to the UNIFIL mission.
The Lower House of Parliament still needs to vote on the mission.
The Christian Democrat CDA has already questioned whether the mission's mandate is strong enough, while the Liberal VVD has raised concern about the disarming of Hezbollah.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news