Italy and France provide bulk of Lebanon force

The EU will be the backbone of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. EU nations have pledged almost 7,000 troops.

EU foreign ministers meeting on 25 August at a troop-generating conference agreed to send a total of almost 7,000 troops to Lebanon. Italy and France are expected to lead the force, and confirmed that they will send 3,000 and 2,000 troops respectively. 

Spain, Poland, Belgium and Finland will also contribute troops. The force will seek to maintain the fragile cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the EU commitment, but he wants to have a total force of 15,000 troops. The figure has been disputed by French President Jacques Chirac, who described the figure as “altogether excessive”.

Annan hopes that EU candidate country Turkey will also join the force.

 

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