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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:55, August 27, 2006
Germany to send 1,200 troops to Lebanon
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Germany is willing to send over 1, 200 military personnel to join the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, German media reported Saturday.

The German naval was preparing frigates and speedboats to safeguard the Lebanese coast, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported in its edition to be published on Monday.

It said that the air force was expected to send Tornado reconnaissance jets to prevent weapons smuggling by Lebanon's Hezbollah militants.

The German government is awaiting a formal request from the Lebanese government to put the troops in place, the magazine said.

German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung described the German military participation as battle duty as he said, "German soldiers have to be prepared against the will of ships' captains to board shops suspected of smuggling weapons."

He said the German troops could play a dominant role in the Lebanese coast.

Germany decided not to send ground troops to the region considering its historical sensitiveness with Israel.

Other European nations promising to contribute to the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon include Italy with 3,000 troops, France 2,000, Spain 1,200, Poland 500, Belgium 400 and Finland 250.

Under the UN Security Council's Resolution 1701, UN peacekeepers will expand from the current 2,000 to 15,000 in southern Lebanon to ensure lasting ceasefire between Lebanese Hezbollah and Israel.

Source: Xinhua

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