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UPDATED: 11:14, September 23, 2006
Netherlands to send ship to UN naval mission in Lebanon
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The Dutch government has decided to send a ship to Lebanon as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force, online newsletter Expatica reported on Friday.

It was reported that the Dutch contribution to the UNIFIL (The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) 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 Oct. 1 and Dec. 1.

The mission will continue until Aug. 31, 2007, but Defense Minister Henk Kamp was quoted as saying the length of the mission could be extended by an extra 12 months.

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 United Nations, Lebanon and Israel have each requested that the Netherlands offer a deployment to the UNIFIL mission.

The Lower House of the Dutch Parliament still needs to vote on the mission.

Source: Xinhua

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