Spanish troops hope to help speed up Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon

Visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos said Tuesday that the deployment of Spanish troops would help speed up the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanese territory.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Lebanon's acting Foreign Minister Tarek Mitri, Moratinos noted that "the commitment of the Spanish regiment to UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) aims for the complete and effective implementation of Resolution 1701."

He added that Spain would continue to support and cooperate with Lebanon "politically, diplomatically, economically and militarily."

Mitri, for his part, said that the UN force's main mission was "to help the Lebanese army fulfill its duties and take control" of southern Lebanon, adding "this does not mean that those forces are here to forcefully disarm Hezbollah."

According to Moratinos, Spain would dispatch "a cooperation mission" in the near future to help decide the number and content of projects needed for Lebanon. Spain has allocated 125 million euros (159 million U.S. dollars) for those projects.

The Spanish mission will also help in the process of demining and beach cleaning in Lebanon, said Moratinos.

Spain has decided to send 1,100 soldiers to join UNIFIL in South Lebanon to help reinforce the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Source: Xinhua



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