HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Putin Says Russia Considering Sending Troops to Lebanon

Thu, 24 Aug 2006, 00:38

Russia is considering sending troops to the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon to enforce the Israel-Hezbollah cease-fire, President Vladimir Putin told Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

“He said he is thinking about it,’’ Prodi told reporters at his vacation villa in Tuscany, after a telephone conversation last night with Putin. Prodi’s spokesman confirmed his comments. Putin ”has started talking to his collaborators and he’ll give us an answer in the coming days,’’ he said.

Lebanon faces a “security vacuum’’ unless the peacekeepers and Lebanese soldiers are deployed to oversee the cease-fire, UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said after visits to Lebanon and Israel yesterday. There is ”reason for pessimism’’ until peacekeepers are in place, he said.

The cease-fire that came into force Aug. 14 halted a 33-day conflict between Israel and the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group. European Union ambassadors are meeting in Brussels today to prepare a UN foreign ministers’ meeting on Aug. 25 to determine Europe’s contributions to the force.

The conflict in Lebanon began after Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border attack on July 12. Israeli air strikes were followed by a ground offensive. About 1,200 Lebanese were killed and 4,500 wounded. Reports say 159 Israelis were killed.

The Lebanese army has taken up positions in about 70 percent of the area between the border with Israel and the Litani River, Riszard Morszymski, deputy spokesman for the UN force in the area, said Tuesday. The Litani River is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the border.

The Lebanese army’s line is about 8-10 kilometers from the border, while the Israeli military controls a strip about 4-5 kilometers inside Lebanon, Morszymski said. UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) soldiers are deployed in between.

Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org